Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

The Warranty Informer

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Modern kitchen

Warranty Extensions Offered in LG Refrigerators Class Action Settlement

Alleged compressor defects caused problems for owners of certain LG refrigerators

Warranty Informer

The parties in litigation involving LG refrigerators today announce a class action settlement that resolves multiple cases consolidated in federal court in New Jersey. The court granted preliminary approval of the settlement in Bentley, et al. v. LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc., No. 2:19-cv-13554-MCA-MAH (D.N.J.), and authorized a settlement administrator, Angeion Group, LLC, to begin issuing notice to Settlement Class members and accepting claims.

The settlement applies to owners of certain models of LG refrigerators manufactured between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2017, and resolves the plaintiffs' claims that the refrigerators have a compressor defect that causes them to experience No-Cooling Events and also claims regarding LG's warranty and repair service. LG Electronics denies the allegations but agreed to the settlement in the interest of customer satisfaction and to avoid further litigation costs.

Settlement Class members can submit a claim form until January 11, 2021 and may be eligible for a cash payment if their LG refrigerator stopped cooling within five years of purchase, including up to $450 upon submission of a claim form under oath, or more by supporting their claim with accompanying documentation such as receipts, invoices, photographs or other reasonable evidence of losses, as described at www.LGFridgeSettlement.com. Settlement Class Members are eligible for a cash payment if their LG Refrigerator stopped cooling and within five years of purchase, they: (a) paid for parts to have their LG Refrigerator repaired; (b) paid for labor to have their LG Refrigerator repaired; (c) had unsuccessful repairs; (d) had delayed repairs; (e) replaced their LG Refrigerator because it stopped working; and/or (f) had property loss such as spoiled food, beverages, medicine, or other perishables, or from property damage such as leaking.

Under the settlement, the warranty is being extended on covered models to five years from the date of purchase including all labor costs related to cooling repairs during that period. For a limited time, Settlement Class members will also be provided free warranty service if their refrigerator stops cooling, even if the original warranty is expired. To further aid consumers, LG also will (1) create a dedicated refrigerator customer care team to address cooling issues with live operator support; (2) increase the number of its service technicians; (3) implement faster repair service; (4) implement a new mobile service application for use by service technicians; (5) invest in efforts to develop and upgrade parts and software to improve the cooling performance of LG refrigerators; (6) implement a proactive consumer outreach program; and (7) enhance customer care to provide qualifying Settlement Class Members who experience multiple No-Cooling Events during the extended warranty period with cash payments, all as more fully described at www.LGFridgeSettlement.com.

Consumers can visit the Settlement Website, www.LGFridgeSettlement.com, or call the LG Settlement Toll-Free Number: (855) 918-4661, to obtain further details about the settlement. The Settlement Website includes the list of LG refrigerator models covered by the settlement, all relevant dates and deadlines, access to relevant court documents, and answers to frequently asked questions. Claim Forms are available at and can be submitted to www.LGFridgeSettlement.com, or by email to Info@LGFridgeSettlement.com, or by mail to LG Fridge Settlement, Attn: Settlement Administrator, 1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

"This class action settlement for LG Refrigerator purchasers is an excellent outcome for the Settlement Class and provides meaningful cash payments, warranty extensions, and other enhanced warranty benefits," said Daniel C. Girard of Girard Sharp, LLP and Shanon J. Carson of Berger Montague PC, the two senior lawyers appointed by the Court as Co-Lead Counsel for the Settlement Class. Settlement Class Members do not have to pay Class Counsel's attorneys' fees or the costs of the Settlement Administrator as LG will pay these amounts separately subject to the approval of the Court.

Read more at Berger Montague

Source: https://www.lgfridgesettlement.com


Black and white photo of upset man talking on phone

Over 211 Million Extended Warranty Scam Robocalls in August

Auto warranty robocalls top YouMail's monthly Robocall Index for the second consecutive month

Warranty Informer

For the second consecutive month, auto warranty scam robocalls topped YouMail's robocall index, which measures the volume of robocalls received by Americans each month. YouMail,estimates that U.S. consumers received 211.8 million robocalls in August 2020, or about 6.83 million extended warranty robocalls per day.

Warranty scam robocalls up slightly over July

July's warranty robocalls clocked in at just over 208 million for the month, and August's numbers represent a 2% increase in warranty robocall volume as compared to the prior month.

Total robocall volume remains steady

Nearly 3.7 billion robocalls in total were received by Americans, up from 3.6 billion calls in July, or around a 1% increase over the previous month.

In August, robocalls averaged 118.3 million calls/day or roughly 1,370 calls/second, up from 117.1 million calls/day and 1,356 calls/second in July. There have been just over 30.1 billion robocalls so far in the first 8 months of the year, averaging 3.8 billion/month, or 18% lower than the 2019 average of 4.9 billion robocalls/month.

"Robocalls grew at a surprisingly low rate in August, despite economies continuing to reopen," said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. "While we would love for this slow rate of growth to continue, we expect this is just a pleasant hiccup as robocalls continue a steady rise."

Top illegal robocalls in August 2020

In August, Car Warranty Scam calls remained the most frequently made illegal robocall for the second consecutive month, while Medical Scams continued to represent the next most frequent category of illegal robocalls. The breakdown of categories was similar in August compared to July. Scams and telemarketing together remained a big headache, with roughly 2.2 billion calls between them, and nearly 60% of the month's total robocall volume.

Data courtesy of YouMail

These data are provided by YouMail, a free call protection app for mobile phones. YouMail recently won the American Business Awards' Gold Stevie Award for Technical Innovation of the Year, and the YouMail app was named the nation's best robocall-blocking solution in a competition organized by Geoffrey Fowler of the Washington Post.

YouMail blocks unwanted robocallers by making sure the user's phone doesn't ring, and then plays an out-of-service message that leads them to think they dialed an invalid number. YouMail identifies problematic numbers and robocalls using a combination of its recently patented audio fingerprinting technology, call patterns, and consumer feedback.

YouMail provides the YouMail Robocall Index to estimate robocall volume across the country and for specific area codes every month. This estimate is formed by extrapolating from the behavior of the billions of calls YouMail has handled for its users, and these statistics are regularly cited by the FCC as a definitive source for national data trends.

About YouMail, Inc.

YouMail, Inc. provides security-first, cloud-based communication services for mobile phones. Our free app-based service uses sophisticated, patented technology to block robocalls and phishing messages, protecting users from spam, identify theft, stalkers, and corporate fraud. Our premium call management services provide virtual receptionist and virtual number services, and they are designed for people who use their mobile phone for business. These services help them unify virtual numbers with their cell number, handle high volumes of mobile calls, and provide personalized answering experiences for their callers. YouMail's communications platform handles over a billion calls per year for over 10 million users, and our users range from everyday consumers to sole proprietors to the CEOs of the largest companies in America. The YouMail Robocall Index™, since its launch in in September 2015, has emerged as the nation's definitive source on robocalling data for telecom carriers, smartphone and app companies, and public policymakers. YouMail, Inc. is privately funded and based in Irvine, California.

Read more at YouMail Robocall Index

Source: https://www.youmail.com


Money

14 Extended Auto Warranty Administrators Approved for PPP Funds

Vehicle service contract administrators or related entities reveive Paycheck Protection Program loans

Warranty Informer

An investigation into a Paycheck Protection Program loan database provided by the U.S. Treasury Department and the Small Business Association has revealed that at least fourteen automobile extended warranty administrators or related entities were approved for PPP loans. The loans, part of the government's COVID-19 financial response, were provided by banks in coordination with the SBA.

The total value of the loans provided are between $9.25 and $24.05 million. A precise total amount of the loans is not available because the government's database only provides loan ranges approved for each entity, not a precise amount.

Three warranty administrators received loans in the second-tier of loans, which range between $2 and $5 million. Those companies are: American Guardian Warranty Services, Inc. of Warrenville, Illinois, AAS Services, LLC of Lakewood, Colorado, and Enterprise Financial Group, Inc. of Irving, Texas.

Eight administrators received 4th-tier loans in the range of $350,000 and $1 million, including Lees Summit, Missouri based Mechanical Breakdown Protection, Inc., and Kingston, Pennsylvania based Penn Warranty Corporation. Two of the entities receiving between $350,000 and $1 million appear to be related to each other, Dimension Service Corporation and Allegiance Administrators, LLC. Both companies are based in Dublin, Ohio and list the same address of 5500 Franz Road in the government's database.

Diamond Warranty Corporation, SunPath Ltd., and Matrix Warranty Solutions all received PPP approval of $150,000 and $350,000.

A complete list of auto warranty administrators approved for PPP loans is below:

Warranty Administrators or Affiliated Companies Approved for PPP Funds

American Guardian Warranty Services, Inc.

— Warrenville, IL
 Approved for PPP loan of $2 - $5 million
https://agws.com/

American Auto Shield

— Lakewood, CO
 Affiliated entity: AAS Services, LLC
 Approved for PPP loan of $2 - $5 million
https://americanautoshield.com/

Enterprise Financial Group, Inc. / EFG

— Irving, TX
 Approved for PPP loan of $2 - $5 million
https://www.efgcompanies.com/

Mechanical Breakdown Protection, Inc. / MBPI

— Lees Summit, MO
 Approved for PPP loan of $350,000 - $1 million
https://www.mbpnetwork.com/

Continental Warranty, Inc.

— Claymont, DE
 Approved for PPP loan of $350,000 - $1 million
http://www.continentalwarranty.org/

Allegiance Administrators LLC

— Dublin, OH
 Approved for PPP loan of $350,000 - $1 million
http://www.allegianceadministrators.com/

Dimension Service Corporation

— Dublin, OH
 Affiliated entity: Allegiance Administrators LLC
 Approved for PPP loan of $350,000 - $1 million
http://www.dimensionservice.com/

Phoenix American Warranty Company, Inc.

— Miami, FL
 Approved for PPP loan of $350,000 - $1 million
https://www.phoenixec.com/

Proguard Warranty, Inc.

— Avoca, PA
 Approved for PPP loan of $350,000 - $1 million
https://www.proguardwarranty.com/

Royal Administration Services, Inc.

— Hanover, MA
 Approved for PPP loan of $350,000 - $1 million
https://www.royaladmin.com/

Penn Warranty Corporation

— Kingston, PA
 Approved for PPP loan of $350,000 - $1 million
https://www.pennwarranty.com/

Diamond Warranty Corporation

— Wilkes Barre, PA
 Approved for PPP loan of $150,000 - $350,000
https://diamondwarrantycorp.com/

SunPath Ltd.

— Braintree, MA
 Approved for PPP loan of $150,000 - $350,000
https://gosunpath.com/

Matrix Warranty Solutions, Inc.

— Dallas, TX
 Approved for PPP loan of $150,000 - $350,000
http://www.matrixwarrantysolutions.com/

The largest warranty-related PPP loan discovered thus far is to CarShield parent NRRM, LLC of Saint Peters, Missouri, which received a PPP loan of between $5 and $10 million.

Read more at U.S. Department of Treasury

Source: https://home.treasury.gov


green phone

Department of Justice Shuts Down Warranty Robocall Scammers

Consent decree bars Ecommerce National LLC and SIP Retail from transmitting calls into US

Warranty Informer

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered a consent decree imposing a permanent injunction barring two individuals and two companies that transmitted massive volumes of fraudulent robocalls from conveying any telephone calls into the U.S. telephone system, the Department of Justice announced today.

As alleged in a civil complaint filed earlier this year in United States v. Nicholas Palumbo, et al., spouses Nicholas and Natasha Palumbo of Scottsdale, Arizona, and their companies, Ecommerce National LLC d/b/a TollFreeDeals.com and SIP Retail d/b/a sipretail.com, received millions of fraudulent internet-based calls every day from other entities, often located abroad. Those calls were then transmitted, initially to other carriers within the United States and ultimately, to the phones of individuals. The defendants are alleged to have knowingly allowed numerous foreign-based individuals and entities to transmit fraudulent government- and business-imposter robocalls through defendants’ network and on to victims in the United States. These fraudulent robocalls included millions of calls impersonating the Social Security Administration, threatening the recipients of the calls with arrest or asset seizure if they did not immediately transfer funds to the caller. The defendants also sold U.S. telephone numbers to foreign entities, which were used as victim call-back numbers as part of massive robocalling fraud schemes, to give the impression that the fraudsters were located in the United States. These calls led to massive financial losses to elderly and other vulnerable victims throughout the United States.

“The Department is committed to protecting vulnerable Americans, particularly America’s seniors, from those who seek to steal their hard-earned savings,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Ethan Davis of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “The Department will pursue not only those who place fraudulent robocalls, but also those who knowingly facilitate such calls. The Department recognizes the exceptional work of the Social Security Administration and Postal Inspection Service in investigating this case.”

“The consent decree is a milestone in protecting the public, especially elderly and other vulnerable persons, from predatory robocall schemes that can cause catastrophic losses to victims in this district and throughout the country,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Seth D. DuCharme.

“We are pleased that all five companies named by the Department of Justice in this civil matter are now permanently enjoined from facilitating Social Security scam calls. The facts clearly show these companies, and their owners, knowingly did business with government imposter telephone scammers, resulting in financial and emotional harm to unsuspecting consumers,” said Inspector General Ennis. “I want to thank DOJ’s Consumer Protection Branch, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and our other law enforcement partners who provided assistance and support throughout this investigation.”

In a written opinion issued in March of this year, the District Court found that, despite being warned more than 100 times of specific instances of fraudulent calls being transmitted through their network, the defendants never severed their business relationship with any entity they learned was associated with fraudulent call traffic prior to the United States’ filing of its lawsuit. The Court held that “at the very least… defendants’ failure to take meaningful action in response to these complaints demonstrates reckless indifference to the fraud they were enabling. Over time, it became increasingly clear that they knew or should have known the complaints evidenced a widespread pattern of fraudulent calls being transmitted over their network.”

Under the terms of the consent decree entered today by the District Court, the defendants agreed to be permanently barred from, among other things, using the U.S. telephone system to: deliver prerecorded messages through automatic means, carry voice-over internet protocol calls destined for phones in the United States, and not to provide any U.S. phone numbers to other individuals or entities. In addition, the defendants are permanently barred from serving as employees, agents, or consultants to any person or entity engaged in these activities.

This case was handled by Trial Attorneys Ann F. Entwistle and Charles B. Dunn of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bonni Perlin and Dara Olds of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, in coordination with the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Investigative support was also provided by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation’s El Dorado Task Force and U.S. Secret Service. The Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission also provided pertinent data.

Read more at Department of Justice

Source: https://www.justice.gov


programmers in office

NXM Labs Wins TWICE VIP Award for Warranty Services Category

CyberSafe is the first insurance-backed cyber security warranty program for connected consumer devices

Warranty Informer

NXM Labs Inc. today announced NXM CyberSafe®, the world's first insurance-backed cyber security warranty program for connected consumer devices, was named the winner of the 2020 TWICE VIP Award in the Warranty Services category. NXM CyberSafe, which enhances a manufacturer's existing parts and labor warranty to include anti-hacking protection, was voted on by the audience of TWICE magazine, the leading voice in the Consumer Electronics industry. The annual VIP awards celebrate the best features, design and value that new products bring to consumers.

The NXM Guaranteed CyberSafe seal makes it easy for consumers to recognize brands whose products have been independently certified to be safe from hacking. NXM CyberSafe warranties run concurrently with existing OEM warranties and are fully transferable.

Products displaying the NXM CyberSafe seal are protected by NXM Autonomous Security™, the first Internet of Things (IoT) security software solution to receive Platform Security Architecture (PSA) certification from Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the world's leading safety science company.

"Consumers believe that it is up to brand manufacturers to ensure the products they sell are secure, not them," says Scott Rankine, NXM's CEO. "Winning this prestigious Award reinforces the importance of security as a key selling feature. When given a choice, many consumers will opt for peace of mind, providing those manufacturers who display the NXM CyberSafe seal with a significant competitive advantage."

About NXM

NXM is a leader in IoT security software and innovative assurance products designed to safeguard devices and protect personal privacy. NXM partners with global leaders in communications, semiconductors, insurance, manufacturing, transportation, aerospace and government to develop next generation device security and edge computing systems.

Read more at NXM Labs

Source: https://www.nxmlabs.com


picture of gavel

Judge Rules Against Extended Warranty Administrator Interstate National Dealer Services

Robocall class action lawsuit against INDS allowed to proceed after ruling

Warranty Informer

Extended warranty administrator Interstate National Dealer Services, Inc. lost a bid last week to have a robocall class action lawsuit filed against the company in March dismissed. INDS had argued that they were neither directly or vicariously liable for an extended warranty robocall made to lead plaintiff Jayson Rogers on September 25, 2019 which led to the class action filing.

Interstate National unsuccessfully argued in a June filing that the company cannot be found directly nor vicariously liable for the robocall and that the class action robocall lawsuit filed against them may proceed.

In a twelve-page ruling issued by the court, Judge Patricia A. Gaughan supported the INDS argument that it is not directly liable for the robocall in question, but disagreed with the company that it is not vicariously liable.

Unsolicited Extended Warranty Robocall

According to the initial class action lawsuit, plaintiff Jayson Rogers received an unsolicited "press 1" robocall in September 2019 from an unnamed extended warranty seller offering him a vehicle service contract administered by defendant Interstate National Dealer Services. Plaintiff Rogers was also directed to Interstate's website by the robocaller.

Interstate National's Arguments

INDS argued that they are not vicariously liable for the auto warranty robocall for the following reasons:

 • The plaintiff's complaint contains “zero factual predicate” regarding the relationship between INDS and the robocaller

 • The plaintiff has not provided enough factual detail to support a claim for vicarious liability under the TCPA.

 • The plaintiff’s allegations that a "John Doe" telemarketer mentioned Dealer Services’ products and website are insufficient to establish vicarious liability

 • There are no allegations in the complaint that it “received leads or generated sales from the alleged call,” plaintiff cannot establish vicarious liability

 • That the allegation of a contract between itself and "John Doe" is insufficient to support a claim for vicarious liability.

 • That INDS “does not engage any third parties to make telemarketing phone calls [on] its behalf.”

Judge Gaughan ruled against Interstate National on all of these arguments and will allow the class action lawsuit to proceed on the basis of vicarious liability. "For all the reasons set forth above, the Court finds plaintiff has alleged enough to show that an agency relationship may exist between Dealer Services and John Doe. Accordingly, the Court concludes that plaintiff has sufficiently alleged that Dealer Services may be vicariously liable under the TCPA," the ruling stated.

Prior Extended Warranty Robocall Settlement

This is not the first time that INDS has been sued for allegedly violationg the TCPA. In 2014 Interstate National Dealer Services was sued for alleged TCPA violations, and in 2016, settled the case for $4.2 million.

The current class action lawsuit is known as Rogers v. Interstate National Dealer Services, Inc. et al case number 1:20-cv-00554 in Ohio Northern District Court.

Read the full text of Judge Gaughan's ruling here.

Read more at PacerMonitor

Source: https://www.pacermonitor.com


Stock chart on computer screen

Penn Warranty Parent Reports Extended Warranty Service Fee Decrease

Breakeven results for Itasca, Illinois-based Kingsway Financial Services in Q2 2020

Warranty Informer

Kingsway Financial Services Inc. filed its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the three and six months ended June 30, 2020, which includes the following highlights:

 • For the three months ended June 30, 2020, operating income was essentially breakeven, compared to an operating loss of $0.8 million for the same period in 2019;

 • GAAP net loss was $1.4 million for the three months ended June 30, 2020 compared to a GAAP net loss of $0.4 million for the same period in 2019; Non-GAAP adjusted loss improved to $0.5 million (inclusive of $0.3 million tax benefit) for the three months ended June 30, 2020 compared to a Non-GAAP adjusted loss of $1.8 million (inclusive of $0.2 million tax expense) for the same period in 2019; and

 • Net cash used in operating activities improved to $1.0 million for the six months ended June 30, 2020 compared to $2.5 million for the same period in 2019.

Non-GAAP Adjusted Loss

Non-GAAP adjusted loss improved to $0.5 million for the three months ended June 30, 2020 compared to a Non-GAAP adjusted loss of $1.8 million for the same period in 2019, primarily due to improvements realized in our Extended Warranty segment and cost-cutting initiatives.

Total holding company expenses decreased by $0.5 million for the three months ended June 30, 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. However, excluding the impacts of redomestication expenses, litigation expenses, acquisition and disposition related expenses, employee termination and recruiting expenses, stock-based compensation expense and extraordinary audit and audit-related expenses, total holding company expenses would have been $0.6 million lower than 2019.

Extended Warranty

The Extended Warranty service fee and commission income decreased 11.9% (or $1.4 million) to $10.4 million for the three months ended June 30, 2020 compared with $11.8 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019. The decrease in service fee and commission income was primarily due to a $1.2 million decrease at Trinity, driven by reduced revenues in its equipment breakdown and maintenance support services due to the loss of a major customer and impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, which was partially offset by an increase in its extended warranty services product. Slight declines in PWSC and IWS revenues were essentially offset by a slight increase in Geminus revenue.

The Extended Warranty operating income was $1.3 million for the three months ended June 30, 2020 compared with $1.0 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019. The increase in operating income is primarily due to the following:

 • A $0.3 million increase at Geminus for the three months ended June 30, 2020 to $0.5 million, primarily due to increased revenues and lower operating expenses;

 • A $0.1 million increase at PWSC to $0.2 million, as a slight reduction in revenue was more than offset by a decrease in operating expenses; and

 • A $0.3 million decrease at Trinity to $0.2 million for the three months ended June 30, 2020, driven by reduced revenues in its equipment breakdown and maintenance support services, partially offset by a related decrease in cost of services sold, operating expenses and increased margin on the extended warranty services product.

IWS' operating income remained flat at $0.3 million as a slight reduction in revenues was offset by operating expense reductions.

Extended Warranty Non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA increased by $0.2 million to $1.5 million for the three months ended June 30, 2020, compared with $1.3 million for the same period in 2019, primarily due to the increase in Extended Warranty operating income as explained above.

Leased Real Estate

Leased Real Estate rental income was, as expected, flat year-over-year with $3.3 million for the quarters ended June 30, 2020 and 2019. Leased Real Estate operating income was $0.8 million for the quarters ended June 30, 2020 and 2019. The rental income is derived from CMC's long-term triple net lease.

About the Company

Kingsway is a holding company that owns or controls subsidiaries primarily in the extended warranty, asset management and real estate industries. The common shares of Kingsway are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "KFS."

Read more at Kingsway Financial Services Inc.

Source: http://kingsway-financial.com


Suburb overhead

First American Home Warranty Coverage Integrated with Real Estate Software

Appliance and home systems coverage offered through Lone Wolf Technologies Software

Warranty Informer

Lone Wolf Technologies announced today an integration with First American Home Warranty, one of the leading home warranty providers in the nation and a subsidiary of First American Financial Corporation. Real estate agents may access First American Home Warranty's flexible solutions seamlessly via Transactions (TransactionDesk Edition), one of Lone Wolf's flagship transaction solutions. Through Marketplace, Lone Wolf's recently launched free-to-access resource, real estate agents can add third-party tools that integrate with their transaction management solution.

With this integration, real estate agents may choose from a variety of First American Home Warranty solutions and order the best option for their particular client from within their transaction platform. First American Home Warranty coverage provides both buyers and sellers with peace of mind in a real estate transaction. Typically, home warranties cover a home's systems and appliances in the event of a breakdown, meaning:

 • Buyers may be protected from having to foot unexpected repair of covered systems and appliances or replacement bills, especially at a time when budgets are tight

 • Sellers may be protected from potential liability issues if a covered system or appliance breaks down in a recently sold home

"We're very excited to work with First American Home Warranty to bring home warranties into our Marketplace," said Jimmy Kelly, President and CEO of Lone Wolf. "We know it can be incredibly stressful for a new homeowner to run into unexpected costs after such a large purchase. This integration means we can give agents another way to go above and beyond to provide an exceptional experience for their clients at such a critical point in time."

"We're proud to be a part of Lone Wolf's Marketplace," said Tracy Berger, Senior Vice President of Real Estate Sales and Training at First American Home Warranty. "Now, more than ever, buyers need that confidence of knowing they're protected from sudden expenses at a time when their budgets can't necessarily handle it. This integration is a great way for agents to easily provide that confidence—ordering remotely through the transaction."

"We're delighted to add First American Home Warranty to our Marketplace," said Jason Cheverton, Vice President of Strategic Channels at Lone Wolf. "This effort expands our mission to bring easy-to-access tools to real estate professionals across the nation, and adds to the extra value they can provide for their own clients.

"In all, Marketplace now features integrated solutions and services from partners such as EyeSpy360, Adwerx, Updater, eCommission, RentSpree, and more. And it doesn't stop there—we'll continue to collaborate with other leaders and innovators to bring the best in real estate tech into Marketplace."

First American Home Warranty

Established in 1984, First American Home Warranty has provided quality protection for homeowners across the nation, through more than 10 million home warranties, for over 35 years. Today, First American's home warranty products continue to offer homeowners important coverage to protect their budgets from unexpected costs for repairing or replacing home systems and appliances.

Lone Wolf Technologies

Lone Wolf Technologies, a Vista Equity Partners portfolio company, is the North American leader in residential real estate software, serving over 1.4 million real estate professionals across Canada and the U.S. With cloud solutions for agents, brokers, franchises, MLSs and associations alike, the company provides the entire real estate industry with the tools they need to amaze clients, build their business, and improve profits—from transactions to back office, insights, and more, all in one place. Lone Wolf's head offices are located in Cambridge, ON, and Dallas, TX.

Read more at First American Home Warranty

Source: https://homewarranty.firstam.com


call center

Auto Warranty Robocall Telecom Provider Shut Down by Michigan Attorney General

California VoIP voice service provider Modok LLC allegedly carried illegal foreign robocall traffic

Warranty Informer

A telecom provider accused of carrying extended warranty scam robocalls is shut down as Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced a settlement agreement requiring a California-based Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) voice service provider, MODOK LLC, to exit the VoIP telecom industry and begin winding down its operations.

This settlement agreement marks the first time a state attorney general has been able to permanently shut down a VoIP service provider and bar its ownership from working in the industry.

The Attorney General’s office used complaints sent to the office by the public to trace illegal robocalls regarding Social Security Administration scams and auto-warranty scams to MODOK LLC, which had allegedly been carrying foreign illegal robocall traffic into the United States and on to Michigan residents. As part of AG Nessel’s Robocall Crackdown Initiative, significant resources are provided to the public through the website, including a complaint form specific to robocalls.

Warranty scam robocalls traced

Nessel's office traced illegal extended warranty scam robocalls and social security scam robocalls to the company using complaints sent in by the public.

From the outset, AG Nessel’s Robocall Crackdown Initiative prioritized the targeting of VoIP service providers carrying illegal robocalls as these businesses are the major conduits for scammers and others to cheaply and effectively make millions of illegal robocalls within minutes to consumers all over the country.

“Cracking down on such a public nuisance was a promise I made from the start of my tenure,” said Nessel. “And today I am proud to announce that we have successfully put an end to one of the many illegal robocall operations that has targeted Michiganders and people around the country. I want to thank my team for their hard work and for making history with this settlement. Let this serve as a notice to other robocallers or their service providers out there: We will continue to protect Michigan consumers and pursue illegal robocalls to the furthest extent of the law.”

Robocall Crackdown Initiative

Since its launch in November, the Robocall Crackdown Initiative has made significant progress.

Most recently, Michigan Assistant Attorney General Wisam Naoum was appointed by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to the FCC’s new Hospital Robocall Protection Group, an advisory committee required by Congress to issue best practices to protect hospitals from robocalls. In June, AG Nessel filed a federal lawsuit in Texas alongside six other states for an alleged robocall operation responsible for over a billion illegal robocalls. AG Nessel also joined 51 other attorneys general in encouraging the FCC to facilitate continued collaboration among state attorneys general and telecom companies to coordinate tracing back illegal robocalls to their source through a single FCC-sanctioned industry group. In early May, Nessel also cosponsored a letter—joined by 51 other attorneys general—to USTelecom urging the association to further develop robocall traceback and other tools suited to law enforcement needs.

The FTC issued a warning letter to MODOK LLC and other VoIP telecom providers in January reminding them of, among other things, the Telemarketing Sales Rules — a copy of the letter can be downloaded here.

Read more at Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel

Source: https://www.michigan.gov


Black and white photo of upset woman talking on a cell phone

40% Increase in Car Warranty Scam Robocalls in July 2020

Extended warranty robocalls top YouMail's monthly robocall index for the first time

Warranty Informer

Extended auto warranty scam robocalls topped the YouMail robocall index for the first time in July 2020. YouMail estimates in their latest report that consumers received 208.4 million car warranty scam robocalls last month, an average of about 6.75 million illegal calls per day.

Warranty scam robocalls up 40%

About 150 million warranty robocalls were made in June of 2020 — July's numbers are a staggering rise of almost 60 million warranty calls versus the prior month. July's additional 60 million robocalls represents a 40% increase over June 2020.

Overall, robocalls increased 9% over June, with July 2020 clocking in at 3.6 billion robocalls, or about 117 million robocalls per day.

October 2019 is the high-water mark for robocalls with 5.7 billion robocalls, or over 190 million per day. July's numbers are 36% below the all time high, but illegal robocalls are rising steadily since the April 2020 low-point of 2.8 billion calls.

"Robocalls continue to grow as countries around the world open up again, which is not unexpected," said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. "While we don't anticipate robocalls going back to peak levels, we fully expect the rising monthly trend to continue for some time."

"Press 1" robocalls on the rise

In July, Scam robocalls increased by 12%, to roughly 1.7 billion calls, a substantial 22% increase in Telemarketing calls to nearly 500 million calls. This trend was driven by call centers continuing to open, where there are now people to handle return calls or "press 1" when called.

Extended warranty robocalls atop July 2020 report

In July, Car Warranty Scam calls became the most frequently made robocalls for the first time, finally surpassing Health-Related Scams. This is likely due to the main health insurance campaigns having been fined by the FCC and the traffic being shut down by various wholesale carriers.

Data courtesy of YouMail

These data are provided by YouMail, a free call protection app for mobile phones. YouMail recently won the American Business Awards' Gold Stevie Award for Technical Innovation of the Year, and the YouMail app was named the nation's best robocall-blocking solution in a competition organized by Geoffrey Fowler of the Washington Post.

YouMail blocks unwanted robocallers by making sure the user's phone doesn't ring, and then plays an out-of-service message that leads them to think they dialed an invalid number. YouMail identifies problematic numbers and robocalls using a combination of its recently patented audio fingerprinting technology, call patterns, and consumer feedback.

YouMail provides the YouMail Robocall Index to estimate robocall volume across the country and for specific area codes every month. This estimate is formed by extrapolating from the behavior of the billions of calls YouMail has handled for its users, and these statistics are regularly cited by the FCC as a definitive source for national data trends.

About YouMail, Inc

YouMail Inc. provides security-first, cloud-based communication services for mobile phones. Our free app-based service uses sophisticated, patented technology to block robocalls and phishing messages, protecting users from spam, identify theft, stalkers, and corporate fraud. Our premium call management services provide virtual receptionist and virtual number services, and they are designed for people who use their mobile phone for business. These services help them unify virtual numbers with their cell number, handle high volumes of mobile calls, and provide personalized answering experiences for their callers. YouMail's communications platform handles over a billion calls per year for over 10 million users, and our users range from everyday consumers to sole proprietors to the CEOs of the largest companies in America. The YouMail Robocall Index™ , since its launch in in September 2015, has emerged as the nation's definitive source on robocalling data for telecom carriers, smartphone and app companies, and public policymakers. YouMail, Inc. is privately funded and based in Irvine, California.

Read more at YouMail Robocall Index

Source: https://www.youmail.com


Stocks on iPhone

Extended Warranty Provider CNA Financial Announces Quarterly Results

Company announces second quarter 2020 net income of $151 million

Warranty Informer

CNA Financial Corporation (NYSE: CNA) today announced second quarter 2020 net income of $151 million, or $0.55 per share, and core income of $99 million, or $0.36 per share. Property & Casualty Operations combined ratio for the second quarter was 112.3%. Underwriting results for the second quarter of 2020 include previously announced net catastrophe losses of $301 million pretax, including $182 million related to COVID-19, $61 million related to civil unrest and $58 million related primarily to severe weather related events. The underlying combined ratio of 93.4% reflects a 0.4 point net benefit related to COVID-19 from lower loss frequency as a result of shelter in place restrictions and an adverse impact from a reduction in estimated audit premiums. These items decreased the loss ratio by 0.9 points and increased the expense ratio by 0.5 points. Net investment income was $534 million pretax for the second quarter of 2020, including $84 million from limited partnership and common stock investments, reflecting the equity market rebound during the quarter.

The U.S. P&C segments, excluding third party captives, generated gross written premium growth of 8% and net written premium growth of 4%. Excluding third party captives, gross written premiums grew 7% and net written premiums grew 3% for P&C overall.

Our Life & Group and Corporate & Other segments produced core income (loss) for the second quarter of 2020 of $14 million and $(11) million, respectively.

CNA Financial declared a quarterly dividend of $0.37 per share, payable September 3, 2020 to stockholders of record on August 17, 2020.

Read more at CNA Financial

Source: https://www.cna.com


man walking out of government building

SunPath & National Car Cure Robocall Lawsuit Settlement

Parties agree to settle extended warranty TCPA lawsuit out of court

Warranty Informer

On Monday, July 20, 2020, a Joint Stipulation for Dismissal with Prejudice was approved by Chief Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel in the extended warranty robocall lawsuit Timmerman v. National Car Cure, LLC et al, case number 3:20-cv-00590 in Illinois Southern District Court.

The amount of the settlement is undisclosed in the filing, which was submitted on July 16th.

The suit had been originally filed in St. Clair County, Illinois Circuit Court by Plaintiff Adam Timmerman who accused the defendants of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 by robodialing his cell phone multiple times in early 2020 in an attempt to sell him an extended warranty.

Per the filing, the "Plaintiff and Defendants have reached an agreement to settle all claims by and between them in the above-captioned action and stipulate and agree, pursuant to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, that this action, and all claims for relief and causes of action alleged herein, shall be dismissed with prejudice."

The parties each agreed to pay their attorney's fees and costs.

A copy of the Joint Stipulation for Dismissal with Prejudice can be read here.

A copy of our original post from July 20, 2020 is below:

A lawsuit accusing National Car Cure, LLC, SunPath LTD., and SunPath Funding, LLC of violating, among other things, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991(TCPA) was moved from the Circuit Court of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit in St. Clair County, to United States District Court at the request of the Defendants in the case.

The Notice of Removal was filed on June 19th, 2020 and on Monday, June 22nd was randomly assigned to United States Magistrate Judge Reona J. Daly.

Extended Warranty Robocall Lawsuit

The suit accuses National Car Cure, a marketer of vehicle service contracts, and SunPath of violating the Illinois Automatic Telephone Dialers Act, two sections of the TCPA, and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

The Plaintiff in the suit, Adam Timmerman of St. Clair County, Illinois, accuses the defendants of multiple robocalls to his cell phone in early 2020. Timmerman claims that his number had been registered on the Do-Not-Call registry at least 30 days prior to receiving the automated calls.

The complaint states that although National Car Cure is the party that allegedly robodialed Timmerman, SunPath, which is a provider of vehicle service contracts, has "full knowledge" of the robocalls and profits from them.

"SunPath entities profit from, permit and approve of National Car Cure selling VSCs using an illegally [sic] dialing scheme," the filing states, "Defendants all know of multiple complaints regarding National Car Cure yet still does business with them. National Car Cure could not illegally dial customers without SunPath's approval and support."

Timmerman's lawsuit claims that there are tree types of violations in the case: (1) using automatic telephone dialing systems to make unsolicited marketing calls to cell phones, (2) repeated calls to the Plaintiff's cells phone which is listed on the National Do-Not-Call Registry, and (3) creating fake consent proof from the Plaintiff when none existed.

The suit seeks treble damages of up to $1500 for each violation plus damages, attorneys' fees and costs.

The case is filed as Timmerman v. National Car Cure, LLC et al in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, case number 3:20-cv-590.

You can read a copy of the original filing here, and find a copy of the Notice of Removal here.

Read more at PacerMonitor

Source: https://www.pacermonitor.com


Highway traffic at sunset

GWC Warranty Launches New Extended Warranty Options

New vehicle service contracts cover vehicles up to twenty years old

Warranty Informer

GWC Warranty announces the launch of significant updates to their core vehicle service contract offering that allows dealers to provide even better levels of coverage and more options for consumers. These enhancements to the already expansive vehicle service contract product were developed based on market feedback and industry trends, improving GWC's ability to serve the needs of dealers of every size.

With this expansion, GWC is even better positioned to help dealers drive results by offering the right F&I solutions to cover more of their inventory as well as the different needs of their customers. Dealers can now provide service contracts for older models on their lot, with new coverage options for vehicles up to twenty years old. GWC is also introducing coverage for over 120 previously excluded hi-line vehicles. Recognizing a growing need in the industry, coverage is now available for vehicles used for commercial purposes, giving drivers entering the rideshare and delivery market the chance to protect their investment and their livelihood.

"Dealers are facing an increased need to optimize every opportunity. By providing the right F&I products for inventory they have on their lot, GWC can help dealers drive the results they need from their used-car operation," says Matt McKenna, Senior Vice President of GWC Warranty & APCO. "With this product expansion, we're giving dealers more options than ever before to optimize F&I sales to increase total revenue and overall profitability while raising the level of protection they can offer their consumers.

Other significant changes in this update are designed to help dealers provide a better experience for drivers and avoid post-sale dissatisfaction, including improved driver benefits like rental car or substitute transportation coverage, roadside assistance, and trip interruption protection. GWC is also introducing new deductible options to give drivers more flexibility over what they'll have to pay out of pocket, including a disappearing deductible option for dealers with a service bay that encourages customers to return for maintenance and repairs. Dealers can also offer buyers contracts with an "any time, any reason" cancellation policy.

"We took dealer feedback very seriously when developing these changes," says McKenna. "Dealers want flexibility in both terms and conditions in their vehicle service contract offerings. We're introducing hundreds of new term and mileage combinations, including even more competitive rates and term options for vehicles that still have a basic manufacturer's warranty remaining. And, as part of our goal to protect our contract holders from out-of-pocket repair costs, we're now offering coverage on sales tax for diagnostics, labor, and parts for eligible repairs."

With the automotive landscape continually evolving, this product enhancement and expansion demonstrate GWC's commitment to providing F&I products that meet the needs of both their partners and their consumers.

About GWC Warranty

Since 1995, GWC has provided dealerships of all sizes with the right F&I solutions for used vehicles. Their products, training, and profit-building programs help dealers optimize every sale, with a best-in-class claims experience that helps strengthen dealer reputations. GWC Warranty is part of APCO Holdings, also home to the EasyCare brand. For more information about the APCO Holdings family of brands, please visit www.apcoholdings.com.

Read more at GWC Warranty

Source: https://gwcwarranty.com


Winter traffic on slushy city road

Auto Warranty Provider Amynta Group Acquires Pivotal Solutions

Fishers, Indiana based F&I solutions provider Pivotal Solutions acquired by Amynta

Warranty Informer

Amynta Group, a premier insurance services provider of property & casualty and warranty protection products and services, has acquired Pivotal Solutions Inc., based in Fishers, Indiana. Founded in 1999, Pivotal Solutions is a strategic partner to automotive dealer groups, providing F&I solutions, training and development to drive customer engagement and deliver superior F&I performance for its dealers.

Pivotal Solutions establishes Amynta Dealer Services’ presence in the Midwest and will continue to operate under the leadership of Rob Norris.

Rob Norris, President of Pivotal, stated “Pivotal was founded on a client centric approach to relentlessly drive F&I performance for our dealers through accountability, coaching and marketing. This is a great opportunity to continue to grow with our clients. We are excited to join Amynta.”

“Pivotal is a trusted agency that has developed deep long-standing relationships with its clients over 20 years. They bring a passion in delivering for their dealers” said Robert Giammarco, Chairman and CEO of Amynta. “We are excited to have Pivotal’s team members and clients join Amynta.”

About Amynta

Amynta Group is a premier insurance services company with more than $3.5 billion in managed premium and 2,000 associates across North America, Europe, and Australia. An independent, customer-centered and underwriting-focused company, Amynta serves leading carriers, wholesalers, retail agencies, auto dealers, OEMs, and consumer product retailers with innovative insurance and warranty protection solutions. Amynta operates through three segments: Managing General Agencies; Warranty, including automotive, consumer and specialty equipment; and Specialty Risk Services.

Read more at Amynta Group

Source: https://www.amyntagroup.com


Toronto traffic in autumn

Extended Warranty Administrator GWC Warranty Partners with Darwin Automotive

GWC partners with Darwin to provide a full suite of digital retailing options to dealers

Warranty Informer

GWC Warranty, a provider of F&I solutions for used vehicles, announces a partnership with, Darwin Automotive (“Darwin”) an automotive software provider that enables a seamless, transparent, shopping experience while increasing profitability..

GWC is now a Preferred Partner for Darwin’s premier F&I Presentation Software, as well as their digital retailing and consumer self-service tool. With this partnership, GWC has negotiated preferred pricing for their dealers nationwide, giving them access to Darwin’s extensive platform at a substantial discount.

“Darwin’s innovative digital retailing software allows dealers to offer the right F&I products to every customer, based on that buyer’s specific needs,” says Matt McKenna, Senior Vice President of GWC Warranty & APCO. “Darwin’s platform aligns with our mission to provide solutions for our dealers that generate value for their customers while driving more profit for the dealership.”

Darwin Automotive currently operates in all 50 states with over 6,300 dealerships subscribed to its programs. Darwin was recently recognized by Automotive News as a 2019 All-Star in Finance & Insurance. Darwin delivered 504,000 deals on its platform in June 2020 and is on track to deliver 6.5 million units for the year.

“We are excited to partner with GWC Warranty as it is clear they understand the importance of an integrated shopping experience to help boost business by simplifying the online sales process. Enabling their dealers’ sales teams and customers to transact the way they need and want to transact right now, which should increase both CSI and profits,” said Phillip Battista, CEO Darwin Automotive.

For more information on GWC and Darwin Automotive, visit www.GWCWarranty.com and www.DarwinAutomotive.com.

About GWC

Since 1995, GWC has provided dealerships of all sizes with the right F&I solutions for used vehicles. Their products, training, and profit-building programs help dealers optimize every sale, with a best-in-class claims experience that helps strengthen dealer reputations. GWC Warranty is part of APCO Holdings, also home to the EasyCare brand. For more information about the APCO Holdings family of brands, please visit apcoholdings.com.

Read more at GWC Warranty

Source: https://gwcwarranty.com


Farm home with clouds

Home Warranty Provider HomeServ Offers Plans to UPL Consumers

Customers in five states can obtain optional warranty services through gas disbributor

Warranty Informer

HomeServe USA, a provider of home emergency repair service plans, announced a new partnership with United Pipeline Limited (UPL) to offer optional home repair service plans to their residential customers in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia states served by UPL’s nine local gas distribution companies. The new warranty services program will begin with an offer for the Gas Line service plan, which will be available for $5.49 and covers both interior and exterior gas fuel lines.

HomeServe’s Gas Line service plan offers homeowners protection against the expense and inconvenience of repairs to their interior and exterior gas fuel lines. UPL customers are frequently unaware that their responsibility for gas line repairs begins at the property and not at the meter. Customers also are responsible for all gas lines that run throughout their home leading up to appliances inside and outside.

When the time comes, these repairs can be costly and are not typically covered by basic homeowners insurance. HomeServe plan holders will have access to a repair hotline that is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to bring local, licensed and insured technicians right to their home for repairs.

UPL homeowner customers will also have access to other HomeServe service plans, including water heater repair and replacement coverage as well as repair plans for heating and cooling systems. Customers will be able to pay for these service plans with convenient payment directly to HomeServe. The program is completely optional, and the coverage can be cancelled at any time.

“In recent months homeowners have been spending more time at home, putting more demand on all their household systems. That increased usage can lead to increased wear and tear, and greater need for unexpected repairs,” said John Kitzie, CEO of HomeServe. “These types of repairs can often be very expensive, and homeowners don’t always have the ‘rainy day funds’ set aside to cover those unanticipated expenses. Our plans not only provide timely repairs homeowners need, they also help relieve the financial burden.”

Eligible Consumers

HomeServe’s plans will be available to residential customers whose service is provided by these UPL local gas distribution companies:

 • Appalachian Natural Distribution Company, Virginia

 • Cardinal Natural Gas, Virginia and West Virginia

 • Eastern Natural Gas, Ohio

 • Keystone Cooperative Association Inc., Pennsylvania

 • Knox Energy Cooperative Association Inc., Ohio and Pennsylvania

 • Madison Energy Cooperative Association Inc., Ohio

 • Pike Natural Gas Company, Ohio

 • Valley Rural Utility Company, Indiana

 • Village Energy Cooperative Association, Ohio

UPL will share program information online and in upcoming billing statements starting this month. Soon after, customers will receive information about the program in the mail. The mailing materials from HomeServe will include the UPL local company logo to demonstrate the validity of the trusted partnership between the companies.

About HomeServe USA

HomeServe USA Corp. (HomeServe) is a leading provider of home repair solutions serving more than 4.4 million customers across the US and Canada under the HomeServe, Home Emergency Insurance Solutions, Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) and Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC) names.

Since 2003, HomeServe has been protecting homeowners against the expense and inconvenience of water, sewer, electrical, HVAC and other home repair emergencies by providing affordable repair coverage, installations and quality local service.

Read more at HomeServ USA

Source: https://www.homeserve.com


man walking out of government building

National Car Cure / SunPath TCPA Lawsuit Moved to Federal Court

Timmerman v. National Car Cure et al. originally filed in St. Clair County, Illinois

Warranty Informer

A lawsuit accusing National Car Cure, LLC, SunPath LTD., and SunPath Funding, LLC of violating, among other things, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991(TCPA) was moved from the Circuit Court of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit in St. Clair County, to United States District Court at the request of the Defendants in the case.

The Notice of Removal was filed on June 19th, 2020 and on Monday, June 22nd was randomly assigned to United States Magistrate Judge Reona J. Daly.

Extended Warranty Robocall Lawsuit

The suit accuses National Car Cure, a marketer of vehicle service contracts, and SunPath of violating the Illinois Automatic Telephone Dialers Act, two sections of the TCPA, and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

The Plaintiff in the suit, Adam Timmerman of St. Clair County, Illinois, accuses the defendants of multiple robocalls to his cell phone in early 2020. Timmerman claims that his number had been registered on the Do-Not-Call registry at least 30 days prior to receiving the automated calls.

The complaint states that although National Car Cure is the party that allegedly robodialed Timmerman, SunPath, which is a provider of vehicle service contracts, has "full knowledge" of the robocalls and profits from them.

"SunPath entities profit from, permit and approve of National Car Cure selling VSCs using an illegally [sic] dialing scheme," the filing states, "Defendants all know of multiple complaints regarding National Car Cure yet still does business with them. National Car Cure could not illegally dial customers without SunPath's approval and support."

Timmerman's lawsuit claims that there are tree types of violations in the case: (1) using automatic telephone dialing systems to make unsolicited marketing calls to cell phones, (2) repeated calls to the Plaintiff's cells phone which is listed on the National Do-Not-Call Registry, and (3) creating fake consent proof from the Plaintiff when none existed.

The suit seeks treble damages of up to $1500 for each violation plus damages, attorneys' fees and costs.

The case is filed as Timmerman v. National Car Cure, LLC et al in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, case number 3:20-cv-590.

You can read a copy of the original filing here, and find a copy of the Notice of Removal here.

Read more at PacerMonitor

Source: https://www.pacermonitor.com


Money

Four Mepco-Related Companies Cash in on Paycheck Protection Program Loans

Venture capital firm Seabury Capital entities approved for government guaranteed loans

Warranty Informer

Four companies related to the parent company of Chicago-based extended warranty and vehicle service contract funder Mepco were approved for U.S. Government backed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in May of 2020.

According to Mepco's website, Mepco is a wholly owned subsidiary of Seabury Capital. A fact sheet on Seabury's website reveals that Seabury Capital has at least 26 global offices and over $1 billion in assets.

A search of the PPP database provided by Small Business Association (SBA) reveals that four companies with ties to Seabury Capital received PPP loans of between $150,000 and $350,000.

Seabury Companies Receiving PPP Loans

The following Seabury-related entities are listed in the SBA's PPP database:

SAG Holding LLC. SAG Holding LLC is listed as the sole member of Seabury Securities, LLC, which is listed as a brokerage firm regulated by FINRA. According to the Seabury Securities website, "Seabury Securities is the industry’s leading practice delivering global investment banking and restructuring capabilities focused on Aviation, Aerospace & Defense, and Maritime." The SBA database for SAG Holding lists a NAICS code of 624410, which is defined as Child Day Care Services.

Seabury Capital Global Investments LLC. Seabury Capital Global Investments LLC is a Delaware Limited Liability Company which was previously named Seabury Capital Management LLC.

Seabury Maritime LLC. According to their website, "Seabury Maritime was established in 2017 as a premier investment banking and consultancy firm focused on global trade and transportation." Seabury Corporate Finance, owned by Seabury Capital, is the parent company of Seabury Maritime.

Seabury Solutions LLC. According to their website, "Seabury Solutions is a market leader within the aviation IT industry with over a decade of established expertise in the development and implementation of world-class software solutions." Seabury Solutions has offices in Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Argentina, USA, Kenya, Australia, Philippines, and Korea. Seabury Solutions is also owned by Seabury Capital.

All four firms list an address of 1350 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, and their PPP loans were obtained through Wells Fargo Bank.

The Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll, and the SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.

According to the Treasury Department, all loans over $2 million are subject to audit. "A small business or non-profit organization that is listed in the publicly released data has been approved for a PPP loan by a delegated lender. However, the lender’s approval does not reflect a determination by SBA that the borrower is eligible for a PPP loan or entitled to loan forgiveness. All PPP loans are subject to SBA review and all loans over $2 million will automatically be reviewed. The fact that a borrower is listed in the data as having a PPP loan does not mean that SBA has determined that the borrower complied with program rules or is eligible to receive a PPP loan and loan forgiveness. Further, a small business’s receipt of a PPP loan should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the small business’ business activity or business model."

The Paycheck Protection Program provided up to $659 billion in financial support to banks to make low-interest loans to companies and non-profits in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more at U.S. Department of Treasury

Source: https://home.treasury.gov


Headlights and taillights at night with time stop photography

Extended Warranty Provider Amynta Group Acquires Aspen's Surety Operations

Company also partners with Crum & Forster on surety business

Amynta Group

Amynta Group, a leading insurance services provider of property & casualty and warranty protection products and services, has acquired the surety operations of Aspen Insurance, the Insurance Segment of Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited. The business will now operate as Amynta Surety Solutions. As part of the transaction, Amynta has entered into a strategic partnership with Crum & Forster, a leading national property and casualty insurance company and wholly owned subsidiary of Fairfax Financial, whereby Crum & Forster will provide the underwriting capacity for the business and assume Aspen’s in-force surety portfolio. Amynta Surety Solutions will be the exclusive writer of large commercial surety bonds for Crum & Forster.

Formed in 2011, Amynta Surety Solutions offers unparalleled underwriting expertise across the commercial surety market. The company focuses on the Fortune 1000 market, large private account business and specialty market niches where risk selection and loss mitigation are critical. Amynta Surety Solutions will be headquartered in Glastonbury, CT, and will continue under the leadership of Michael Toppi, Chief Executive Officer of Amynta Surety Solutions.

“We are very excited to welcome Michael Toppi and the entire surety team to Amynta, forming the foundation of our surety practice. The business brings a well-established surety team with a proven underwriting track record and culture of delivering creative solutions for clients,” said Robert Giammarco, Chairman and CEO of Amynta Group. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Crum & Forster to support the growth of Amynta Surety Solutions. Crum & Forster has a strong surety practice and offers excellent security to our clients.”

“The team and I are excited about the opportunities ahead with Amytna. This transaction provides us with a great opportunity to continue delivering innovative solutions and the highest quality of service to our broker partners and clients with the support of Crum & Forster, our “A” rated carrier partner,” said Michael Toppi, Chief Executive Officer of Amynta Surety Solutions.

Aspen Chairman and CEO, Mark Cloutier, said “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Amynta and Crum & Forster. As we continue to seek ways to achieve our long-term value creation objectives through actions including reviewing our product set, reducing complexity and improving efficiency, we always strive to solve for the needs of our trading partners and our people. Our surety business has enjoyed strong underwriting performance and delivered profits to Aspen, creating strong valuation in a competitive marketplace that includes a quota share arrangement as part of our ongoing relationship. This agreement facilitates continuity for both our clients and colleagues with a strong partnership in place that is focused on strategic growth, which was a key consideration in our decision. More than that, this agreement creates a lasting trading relationship of shared benefit and value-add for all three organizations involved.”

“We look forward to the long-term opportunities anticipated from this strategic partnership with Amynta. The team’s expertise and respected reputation in the commercial surety space are keys to its success, and we are proud to support the growth of this operation,” said Anthony Slimowicz, COO and Division President at Crum & Forster.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal counsel to Amynta. GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities LLC, served as financial advisor to Aspen and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP served as legal counsel.

About Amynta

Amynta Group is a premier insurance services company with more than $3.5 billion in managed premium and 2,000 associates across North America, Europe, and Australia. An independent, customer-centered and underwriting-focused company, Amynta serves leading carriers, wholesalers, retail agencies, auto dealers, OEMs, and consumer product retailers with innovative insurance and warranty protection solutions. Amynta operates through three segments: Managing General Agencies; Warranty, including automotive, consumer and specialty equipment; and Specialty Risk Services.

Read more at Amymta Group

Source: https://www.amyntagroup.com


Windy desert road

What Happened to Selling the Value of an Extended Warranty?

If you have to trick someone into buying something, maybe they don't want it.

Warranty Informer - Opinion

I'm going to start this off by saying that I'm no angel.

Back when I was on the phones, I could sell. I sold extended warranties to people who didn't want them or didn't need them for way too much money.

I could rebut anything.

Need to ask your wife? "I thought you were the man of the house? Why do you need to ask her?"

Can't afford it? "You can't afford not to have it. How are you getting to work if your car is broken down and you can't afford to fix it?"

You'll do it later? "You have to do it right now. This is your last chance. If you don't buy now, we are going to delete your record and you will never, ever be able to buy an extended warranty again. Forever."

I may look like a doofus, but I could sell, and when I was in my prime, I could outsell anybody who bothers to read this.

But that was then.

I realized there's an ethical component to selling. I realized that the best way to sell things is to sell people things they want for a fair price.

Customers are not ATMs

There is a column this morning on Ward's Auto by Justin Gasman titled Odd Thing to Do at a Car Dealership in which the author explains how he tricks customers into buying a vehicle service contract for a higher price.

In the column, Gasman explains that he "plays into the customer's pysche" by using descending odd numbers at the end of a service contract's price, because the "perceived value is higher, and that encourages buying."

The example Gasman uses is a VSC with a targeted sales price of $4000. He suggests that instead of pricing at $3999, pricing it at $3987 makes it "seem like more of a bargain," and "deters customers from seeking a lower price."

"The perception of the deal is that the dealership has got it down to the last penny," Gasman says, "The perceived value is higher, and that encourages buying."

Look, I get it. Dealerships aren't charities. Neither are warranty telemarketers. The F&I department isn't a non-profit. You have to sell and sell at a profit to stay in business.

I'm not stupid, no matter what my friends and family say.

But what happened to selling actual value? What happened to selling extended warranties because they are a good thing for consumers; and if priced right, the customer will keep it and return to the dealership to get their car fixed?

What happened to selling vehicle service contracts for a sensible price?

$4,000? For an extended warranty?

We all know these things wholesale for $1000 or less unless it's for a German luxury barge.

Why not mark it up enough so that you make a bit of a profit and the customer can actually afford it?

If a customer thinks they are getting ripped off, they're not keeping the warranty, and guess what? They're definitely not buying another one from you, and possibly never buying one again because of the experience.

Why do we keep coming up with new ways — or recycling old ways — to trick customers into buying an extended warranty?

Customers are not ATMs, and if you treat them like one, you're going to wake up one day and realize the PIN has changed and the machine is empty.

Going Off Script

If we sold "actual value" instead of "perceived value," maybe extended warranties wouldn't be view as such a scam by customers?

Look, if I were on the phones today, I would want to tell customers why they should buy an extended warranty.

About the value.

About how, if they are priced right, a VSC can help them out of a jam.

About how they can still get to work if their car breaks down.

About how it's only marked up a few-hundred bucks so it's affordable for the customer, my boss is paying the bills, and I'm making a little bit so that I can still feed my family.

And so can they.

Read more at

Source: https://warrantyinformer.com


Traffic in New York City at night

Warranty Administrator American Guardian Receives Large Paycheck Protection Program Loan

$2 million to $5 million PPP loan is among the largest for warranty administrators

Warranty Informer

Suburban Chicago-based warranty provider American Guardian Warranty Services, Inc. was the recipient of a large, government-backed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan according to a database provided by the U.S. Treasury Department and the Small Business Association (SBA). The loans, provided by banks in conjunction with the Small Business Association are part of the U.S. Government's financial response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Second-Tier of PPP Loans

American Guardian's loan is in the second-tier of loans in terms of total dollars lent, ranging from $2 million to $5 million and was approved on April 20th, 2020. The warranty administrator is located in Warrenville, Illinois, and their loan was funded through JPMorgan Chase Bank. An exact dollar amount of the loan is not provided in the SBA's database.

The PPP loan received by American Guardian is not the largest discovered in the automotive extended warranty/vehicle service contract business — that crown goes to CarShield parent NRRM, LLC, based in Saint Peters, MO, which received a loan of between $5 million and $10 million in PPP loans from Busey Bank according to the SBA's database.

The Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll, and the SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.

According to the Treasury Department, all loans over $2 million are subject to audit. "A small business or non-profit organization that is listed in the publicly released data has been approved for a PPP loan by a delegated lender. However, the lender’s approval does not reflect a determination by SBA that the borrower is eligible for a PPP loan or entitled to loan forgiveness. All PPP loans are subject to SBA review and all loans over $2 million will automatically be reviewed. The fact that a borrower is listed in the data as having a PPP loan does not mean that SBA has determined that the borrower complied with program rules or is eligible to receive a PPP loan and loan forgiveness. Further, a small business’s receipt of a PPP loan should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the small business’ business activity or business model."

The Paycheck Protection Program provided up to $659 billion in financial support to banks to make low-interest loans to companies and non-profits in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

About American Guardian Warranty Services

According to their website, "Headquartered just outside of Chicago, Illinois, AGWS is an innovative provider of administration services for Agents and Dealers offering vehicle service contracts, limited warranties, and a variety of environmental and aftermarket products across the United States. Since its inception in 1998, the goals of AGWS are to offer superior claim processing, exceptional customer service, and unrivaled profitability options. Products are insured by “A” or “A-” (Excellent) rated carriers. AGWS is part of the American Guardian Group of Companies and enjoys an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau."

Read more at U.S. Department of Treasury

Source: https://home.treasury.gov


Dollar bills

CarShield Parent Receives at Least $5 Million Paycheck Protection Program Loan

NRRM, LLC of Saint Peters, MO among receipients of highest-tier PPP loan

Warranty Informer

An analysis of data released by the U.S. Treasury department and the Small Business Association (SBA) reveals that the parent of CarShield, NRRM, LLC, received a Paycheck Protection Program loan of between $5 million and $10 million dollars. NRRM is one of 30 businesses in the St. Louis area to receive the top-tier loan of $5-$10 million.

According to the Missouri Secretary of State's website, a fictitious name registration was made for vehicle service contract seller CarShield on April 14th, 2016 and lists MRRM, LLC as 100% owner. In addition, CarShield's website indicates that it is "Powered by: NRRM LLC."

CarShield parent in largest tier of PPP loans

At least 33 entities connected to the vehicle service contract and/or extended warranty business received PPP loans, but the loan received by NRRM is the largest service contract-related loan discovered thus far.

According to the SBA's database, NRRM's loan was approved on April 7, 2020 through Busey Bank, which has numerous locations in St. Louis, MO. The number of jobs retained is listed at 500, which is the maximum number of employees a business could have to be eligible for the program.

The SBA has made available a database of all recipients of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, with details such as loan amount, location, company name, and lender for loans above $150,000. The database can be downloaded from the SBA's website free of charge in comma delimited format. The publically-released PPP data only includes active loans. If a loan was cancelled, it is not included in the SBA's database.

According to the Treasury Department, all loans over $2 million are subject to audit.

PPP Loan Data Is Not Indicative of Loan Forgiveness or Program Compliance

"A small business or non-profit organization that is listed in the publicly released data has been approved for a PPP loan by a delegated lender. However, the lender’s approval does not reflect a determination by SBA that the borrower is eligible for a PPP loan or entitled to loan forgiveness. All PPP loans are subject to SBA review and all loans over $2 million will automatically be reviewed. The fact that a borrower is listed in the data as having a PPP loan does not mean that SBA has determined that the borrower complied with program rules or is eligible to receive a PPP loan and loan forgiveness. Further, a small business’s receipt of a PPP loan should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the small business’ business activity or business model."

The Paycheck Protection Program provided up to $659 billion in financial support to banks to make low-interest loans to companies and non-profits in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more at U.S. Department of Treasury

Source: https://home.treasury.gov


Blonde woman in red sweater talking on a cell phone outside

Warranty Scam Robocalls Down Slightly in June; Overall Robocalls Up 11%

YouMail Robocall Index tracks month over month scam robocall trends

Warranty Informer

Americans received around 147.2 million extended warranty scam robocalls in June 2020 according to the YouMail Robocall Index's report which was released on July 8, 2020. The number represents a slight downtick of just over 2 million warranty scam calls as compared to May 2020, which clocked in at 149.5 million extended warranty robocalls.

Although extended warranty scam calls were down 1.5%, robocalls in general went up 11% in June 2020, with a total of 3.3 billion robocalls, an average of about 111.2 million calls per day.

The all-time high for robocalls was October 2019, with a total of 5.7 billion calls overall.

"As expected, starting to reopen economies in the US and elsewhere is leading to more robocalls," said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. "We're not out of the robocall woods yet."

These data are provided by YouMail, a free call protection app for mobile phones. YouMail blocks unwanted robocallers by making sure the user's phone doesn't ring, and then plays an out-of-service message that leads them to think they dialed an invalid number. YouMail identifies problematic numbers and robocalls using a combination of its recently patented audio fingerprinting technology, call patterns, and consumer feedback.

YouMail provides the YouMail Robocall Index to estimate robocall volume across the country and for specific area codes every month. This estimate is formed by extrapolating from the behavior of the billions of calls YouMail has handled for its users, and these statistics are regularly cited by the FCC as a definitive source for national data trends.

About YouMail, Inc.

The YouMail, Inc. provides security-first, cloud-based communication services for mobile phones. Our free app-based service uses sophisticated, patented technology to block robocalls and phishing messages, protecting users from spam, identify theft, stalkers, and corporate fraud. Our premium call management services provide virtual receptionist and virtual number services, and they are designed for people who use their mobile phone for business. These services help them unify virtual numbers with their cell number, handle high volumes of mobile calls, and provide personalized answering experiences for their callers. YouMail's communications platform handles over a billion calls per year for over 10 million users, and our users range from everyday consumers to sole proprietors to the CEOs of the largest companies in America. The YouMail Robocall Index™, since its launch in in September 2015, has emerged as the nation's definitive source on robocalling data for telecom carriers, smartphone and app companies, and public policymakers. YouMail, Inc. is privately funded and based in Irvine, California.

Read more at YouMail Robocall Index

Source: http://robocallindex.com


Traffic in Valparaiso Indiana at night

ProGuard Warranty and RepairPal Partner to Increase Extended Warranty Repair Confidence

Partnership with extended warranty provider aims to improve transparency and customer satisfaction

Warranty Informer

ProGuard Warranty announced today that they have formed a partnership with RepairPal to bring their network of Certified repair facilities to ProGuard's base of independent and franchise dealers across the United States. With vehicle service contract companies and auto repair facilities ranking as some of the most distrusted industries by consumers, the two companies are committed to working together to change this reputation by providing transparency and higher levels of quality in auto repair.

The timing of the partnership reflects ProGuard's expectations of the effects COVID-19 will have on car ownership going forward. "We recognized the current economic crisis would force many people to keep their vehicles longer and wanted to ensure our customers had a source of reliable technicians to get their cars repaired quickly and correctly," said Dominic Limongelli, President of ProGuard Warranty. "For our dealerships without service facilities, it was critical to have access to a trustworthy network of shops that are dedicated to helping their customers throughout the ownership of their vehicles. Not only does RepairPal offer the largest nationwide network of auto repair shops in the U.S., but we felt their product offering added to the value we bring to our customers."

RepairPal Certified Shops must undergo a comprehensive evaluation by a team of auto experts in order to receive certification. ProGuard customers can take their vehicle to any participating RepairPal Certified Shop and be guaranteed that repairs will be completed at fair prices with quality parts. They also have access to RepairPal's Fair Price Estimator,™ an online tool that educates consumers about the cost of repairs in advance of any actual service. To further boost confidence and trust, customers are provided with analytics to confirm that their vehicle is being well maintained.

This dovetails well with ProGuard's goal to offer plans that protect the customer and the dealer's reputation by delivering the best service experience every time. "We design our plans to protect the consumer and cover everything from the core components to the advanced technology that makes up so much of today's vehicles," explained Limongelli. "Getting customers back in their vehicle as quickly as possible is very important to us and we are constantly enhancing our claims processes to improve turnaround times. We've recently incorporated the use of video in the claim approval process; enabling service facilities to review the diagnosis with our ASE certified adjustors to keep the claim moving without tying up bays. We're always looking for new ways to improve efficiencies in order to create satisfied customers."

"ProGuard has an excellent reputation for great customer service and transparency, which is in perfect alignment with RepairPal's own mission to provide consumers trust, quality and fair pricing in caring for their cars," said RepairPal Vice President and General Manager of Shop and Partner Networks Kathleen Long. "We admire their commitment to creating a great customer experience and feel they'll make an ideal partner as we continue to build out our network of trustworthy mechanics who deliver exceptional quality and service excellence. Together we will work to minimize the fear and uncertainty that can accompany car repair and change the current perceptions of our respective industries."

About ProGuard Warranty

ProGuard is a third-generation, family-owned business that has been serving the automotive industry for over seventy years. Their many years in the industry has led to a unique expertise in knowing the products and coverage needed to protect dealers and their customers. An expansive menu of new and pre-owned vehicle protection plans is available through their nationwide network of dealer partners. The product offering also includes a unique CPO program, another designed specifically for commercial vehicles, and Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) waivers. Dealers appreciate the company's tradition of flexibility, transparency and simplicity, and knowing their customers are protected from the high cost of repairs.

About RepairPal

Established in 2007, RepairPal is bringing trust and peace-of-mind to auto repair. At RepairPal.com, consumers have free access to a vast array of invaluable resources for taking care of their cars. The RepairPal Certified Network shows trusted shops nationwide where repairs are done at fair prices with quality parts and an attentive staff. By visiting RepairPal.com, consumers can get back on the road quickly knowing they'll receive quality work at fair prices.

Read more at ProGuard Warranty

Source: https://www.proguardwarranty.com


Upset woman dialing cell phone

Scheduling Conference Held in National Car Cure & Matrix Extended Warranty Robocall Suit

Cunningham sues warranty seller, Sing for Service, LLC dba Mepco, and others in TCPA lawsuit

Warranty Informer

A telephonic scheduling conference was held on July 2nd in the case of Cunningham v. Matrix Financial Services, LLC et al, case number 4:19-cv-00896 in Texas Eastern District Court.

In the case, Plaintiff Craig Cunningham accuses the defendants made illegal robocalls in violation of the TCPA to sell extended warranties.

Cunningham represented himself during the teleconference. Additional attendees were: Robert Douglass Scott representing Defendants National Car Cure, LLC, Zander Collins and Smith, and David Glenwinkel; William Edward Reid and Brion Doyle representing Defendant Sing for Service, LLC doing business as Mepco; and Andrew Ross Kasner and Joseph P. Bower representing Defendant Matrix Financial Serivices, LLC.

During the conference, Plaintiff Cunnningham acknowledged that Defendants Wolf Marketing, LLC, Vincent Yates, Data Genie LLC and Jeremy Valentino have not been served in the case. The judge in the case, Christine A. Nowak, set a deadline of July 13, 2020 for Cunningham to respond to Mepco's Motion to Dismiss, which was filed on June 12th. In addition, Nowak set a deadline of July 16th to file a report on the Defendant's status in the matter, including whether the Plaintiff has properly served the Defendants.

The next status conference in the matter is set for October 1, 2020.

A copy of our original post follows:


On May 4, 2020, Plaintiff Craig Cunningham filed an amended complaint in his Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit against Defendant Matrix Financial Services, LLC. The initial complaint, filed in early December 2019, alleged that Cunningham received robocalls from the plaintiffs attempting to sell him an extended car warranty. The latest filing adds additional robocall allegations to the mix.

Matrix Financial Services

According to the suit, Matrix is an extended car warranty administrator headquartered in Texas. Regulatory filings state that Matrix Financial Services, LLC is a Wyoming limited liability corporation which was incorporated in 2017. Jay Tuerk, Joel San Antonio, and Brandon San Antonio are listed as officers of the company.

Plateau Casualty Insurance Company

The lawsuit lists Plateau Casualty Insurance Company as Matrix's obligor on the service contract, and states that Plateau is a "vicariously liable party" because "Plateau Casualty was paid as a result of Defendant Matrix gaining the Plaintiff as a customer through illegal robocalls."

Additional Defendants listed in the amended complaint are:

 •  National Car Cure, an extended warranty telemarketer in West Palm Beach, FL

 •  Sing for Service d/b/a Mepco of Chicago, IL

 •  Wolf Marketing, LLC, a defunct Florida corporation

 •  Vincent Yates, and

 •  Jeremy Valentino

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, known as TCPA, the law was enacted in 1991 as a response at the time to consumer outrage against telemarketers. A provision of the TCPA is to make it unlawful "to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice … to any telephone number assigned to a … cellular telephone service."

In addition, it is a violation of the TCPA to "initiate any telephone call to any residential telephone line using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message without the prior express consent of the called party, unless the call is initiated for emergency purposes, is made solely pursuant to the collection of a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States, or is exempted by rule or order." The law also requires that telemarketers have a do-not-call policy available on demand.

Spoofed extended warranty robocalls

Altogether, Cunningham claims to have received at least 140 robocalls soliciting him for a car warranty. According to the complaint, Cunningham received multiple calls from a variety of spoofed caller ID’s that contained a pre-recorded message and were initiated using an automated telephone dialing system. The calls were on behalf of the named defendants. The calls had a delay of 3-4 seconds of dead air before the pre-recorded message began indicating the calls were initiated using an ATDS."

The Plaintiff purchased two extended warranties from Matrix, which were sold through National Car Cure, the second was purchased after the initial lawsuit was filed in December, with Sing for Service/Mepco as another party listed in the provided documentation.

Mepco Finance Corporation

Per the lawsuit, "Defendant MEPCO is a vicariously liable party as they knew that Matrix and National Car cure were engaged in illegal telemarketing based on the Plaintiff’s original complaint, served on February 20, 2020 and despite this notice, MEPCO did not sever business ties with these companies and continued to ratify the conduct by continuing to accept customers generated from Defendant Matrix and Defendant National Car Cure."

National Car Cure

The suit claims that Gus Renny, William Finneran, and National Car Cure, "directed and contracted with Wolf Marketing to place illegal telemarketing calls to the Plaintiff’s cell phones in order to generate leads and sales to National Car Cure in order to sell vehicle service contracts issued by Defendant Matrix."

When Cunningham asked National Car Cure for a copy of their do-not-call policy, it was not provided to him.

Wolf Marketing

Cunningham's amended complaint claims that Wolf Marketing, LLC was the party who actually made the illegal robocalls. Wolf Marketing "initiated the illegal calls to the Plaintiff’s phone numbers in this case in order to generate leads and sales to National Car Cure in order to sell vehicle service contracts issued by Defendant Matrix," the complaint states.

Texas Business and Commerce Code

Cunningham, in addition, claims that the defendants calls were a violation of the Texas Business and Commerce Code 305.053 by both placing automated pre-recorded calls to a cell phone, as well as spoofing the caller ID on those calls.

The suit asks for statutory damages of $3,000 for each of 30 calls claimed to be in violation of TCPA, and an additional $1,500 per call statutory damages for 47 calls the Plaintiff claims were in violation of the Texas and Business Commerce Code 305.053, as well as costs and attorney's fees.

The complaint was filed in US District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, case 4:19-cv-00896-ALM-CAN, Cunningham v. Matrix Financial Services, LLC et al.

A copy of the amended complaint can be found here.


On May 4, 2020, Plaintiff Craig Cunningham filed an amended complaint in his Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit against Defendant Matrix Financial Services, LLC. The initial complaint, filed in early December 2019, alleged that Cunningham received robocalls from the plaintiffs attempting to sell him an extended car warranty. The latest filing adds additional robocall allegations to the mix.

Matrix Financial Services

According to the suit, Matrix is an extended car warranty administrator headquartered in Texas. Regulatory filings state that Matrix Financial Services, LLC is a Wyoming limited liability corporation which was incorporated in 2017. Jay Tuerk, Joel San Antonio, and Brandon San Antonio are listed as officers of the company.

Plateau Casualty Insurance Company

The lawsuit lists Plateau Casualty Insurance Company as Matrix's obligor on the service contract, and states that Plateau is a "vicariously liable party" because "Plateau Casualty was paid as a result of Defendant Matrix gaining the Plaintiff as a customer through illegal robocalls."

Additional Defendants listed in the amended complaint are:

 •  National Car Cure, an extended warranty telemarketer in West Palm Beach, FL

 •  Sing for Service d/b/a Mepco of Chicago, IL

 •  Wolf Marketing, LLC, a defunct Florida corporation

 •  Vincent Yates, and

 •  Jeremy Valentino

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, known as TCPA, the law was enacted in 1991 as a response at the time to consumer outrage against telemarketers. A provision of the TCPA is to make it unlawful "to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice … to any telephone number assigned to a … cellular telephone service."

In addition, it is a violation of the TCPA to "initiate any telephone call to any residential telephone line using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message without the prior express consent of the called party, unless the call is initiated for emergency purposes, is made solely pursuant to the collection of a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States, or is exempted by rule or order." The law also requires that telemarketers have a do-not-call policy available on demand.

Spoofed extended warranty robocalls

Altogether, Cunningham claims to have received at least 140 robocalls soliciting him for a car warranty. According to the complaint, Cunningham received multiple calls from a variety of spoofed caller ID’s that contained a pre-recorded message and were initiated using an automated telephone dialing system. The calls were on behalf of the named defendants. The calls had a delay of 3-4 seconds of dead air before the pre-recorded message began indicating the calls were initiated using an ATDS."

The Plaintiff purchased two extended warranties from Matrix, which were sold through National Car Cure, the second was purchased after the initial lawsuit was filed in December, with Sing for Service/Mepco as another party listed in the provided documentation.

Mepco Finance Corporation

Per the lawsuit, "Defendant MEPCO is a vicariously liable party as they knew that Matrix and National Car cure were engaged in illegal telemarketing based on the Plaintiff’s original complaint, served on February 20, 2020 and despite this notice, MEPCO did not sever business ties with these companies and continued to ratify the conduct by continuing to accept customers generated from Defendant Matrix and Defendant National Car Cure."

National Car Cure

The suit claims that Gus Renny, William Finneran, and National Car Cure, "directed and contracted with Wolf Marketing to place illegal telemarketing calls to the Plaintiff’s cell phones in order to generate leads and sales to National Car Cure in order to sell vehicle service contracts issued by Defendant Matrix."

When Cunningham asked National Car Cure for a copy of their do-not-call policy, it was not provided to him.

Wolf Marketing

Cunningham's amended complaint claims that Wolf Marketing, LLC was the party who actually made the illegal robocalls. Wolf Marketing "initiated the illegal calls to the Plaintiff’s phone numbers in this case in order to generate leads and sales to National Car Cure in order to sell vehicle service contracts issued by Defendant Matrix," the complaint states.

Texas Business and Commerce Code

Cunningham, in addition, claims that the defendants calls were a violation of the Texas Business and Commerce Code 305.053 by both placing automated pre-recorded calls to a cell phone, as well as spoofing the caller ID on those calls.

The suit asks for statutory damages of $3,000 for each of 30 calls claimed to be in violation of TCPA, and an additional $1,500 per call statutory damages for 47 calls the Plaintiff claims were in violation of the Texas and Business Commerce Code 305.053, as well as costs and attorney's fees.

The complaint was filed in US District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, case 4:19-cv-00896-ALM-CAN, Cunningham v. Matrix Financial Services, LLC et al.

A copy of the amended complaint can be found here.

Read more at PacerMonitor

Source: https://www.pacermonitor.com


iPhone on desk

Auto Protection Club Sued for Alleged TCPA Violations

Class-action lawsuit filed against extended warranty seller in US District Court

Warranty Informer

Extended car warranty seller Greenlight Auto Protection of St. Charles, Missouri which does business as Auto Protection Club stands accused of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in a class-action lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Missouri - Eastern Division of United States District Court.

Lead Plaintiff Mollie Nolan filed the lawsuit in June 2020, accusing the Defendants of numerous robocalls to her cell phone starting in November of 2019 using "spoofed" numbers which she claims violates the TCPA as well as chapter 407 the Missouri Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act was signed into law in 1991 by President George H. W. Bush, and restricts telemarketing calls and the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and prerecorded voice messages. The act has been revised several times, including in 2003 to establish a national Do-Not-Call registry.

Former South Carolina Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, the sponsor of the TCPA who passed away in 2019, once said that robocalls are "the scourge of modern civilization, they wake us up in the morning; they interrupt our dinner at night; they force the sick and elderly out of bed; they hound us until we want to rip the telephone out of the wall."

Telemarketers, including extended auto warranty telemarketers, have a history of being sued for violating the TCPA dating back to the early-2000s.

Multiple Extended Warranty Robocalls

Plaintiff Mollie claims to have received at least 125 calls from the Defendants which she did not consent to receiving. The suit describes the nature of the calls as unusual, stating that when she answered the calls, "there was not a human salesperson on the line, but rather a long pause and a click occurred before any human was connected."

According to the complaint, the Plaintiff sent an email to the Defendants on February 14, 2020 "demanding that all phone calls cease," however, the "Defendants continue to place automated calls to Plaintiff." The filing goes on to accuse the Defendants of intentionally harassing Nolan, "regularly calling up to four times in one day and calling several days in a row."

Nolan's suit claims that the Defendants "engaged in a business strategy that includes marketing through illegal telemarketing calls," and that they "willfully and knowingly violated the TCPA."

Class-Action Named Defendants

Named Defendants in the class-action lawsuit are:

 • Greenlight Auto Protection doing business as Auto Protection Club located in St. Charles, Missouri,

 • Joseph Walski, President, owner and organizer of Auto Protection Club

 • Owen McCullough, owner and organizer of Auto Protection Club

 • Jason Cox, owner and organizer of Auto Protection Club

Damages Sought

The suit seeks an injunction against the Defendants prohibiting them from future TCPA violations, treble damages of $1500 for each call made to the member of the class that violated the TCPA, an "award of costs and such further relief as the Court may deem just and proper", attorney's fees and expenses, pre and post-judgement interest of 9%, and additional damages for allegedly violating Chapter 407 of the Missouri Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

A copy of the class-action suit can be found here.

Read more at PacerMonitor

Source: https://www.pacermonitor.com


Snowy Subaru grille

Subaru Provides Extended Warranties for Infotainment Systems

Owners of certain 2017 and 2018 models receive warranty extension from class action lawsuit settlement

Warranty Informer

Owners of certain 2017 and 2018 received warranty extensions from Subaru covering their Starlink infotainment system for 5 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

The system was previously covered under Subaru's 3 year / 36,000 miles new-car warranty.

The warranty extension is part of a $6.25 million class action lawsuit settlement which alleges that a range of technical glitches that cause freezing, non-responsiveness or other malfunctions of the Starlink System.

Certain owners who took their vehicles in for repair are also eligible for compensation from Subaru provided they register to be a member of the class prior to April 1, 2020.

The lawsuit, Udeen v. Subaru of America, alleges that the Defendants, Subaru of America, Inc. and Subaru Corporation, "have violated certain consumer statutes and breached certain warranties, and it seeks certification of a nationwide class of present and former purchasers and lessees of Settlement Class Vehicles to pursue these claims."

The covered vehicles come equipped with the Generation 3.0 head unit manufactured by Harman International Industries, Inc., and are as follows:

 • 2017 Impreza

 • 2018 Impreza

 • 2018 Forester

 • 2018 Outback

 • 2018 Legacy

 • 2018 Crosstrek

 • 2018 BRZ

A copy of the settlement can be downloaded here.

Read more at Udeen v. Subaru of America

Source: https://www.starlinkinfotainment.settlementclass.com


court house with ionic columns

FCC Ruling Could Allow Extended Warranty Scam Robocallers to Skirt TCPA Rules

FCC clarifies meaning of autodialer in new declaratory ruling

Warranty Informer

A declaratory ruling issued on June 25th by the Federal Communications Commission could open the door for telemarketers of extended warranties and other products to further exploit loopholes in the TCPA. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was implemented in the early 1990s as a means to prevent Americans from being bombarded with unwanted telemarketing calls which were, at the time, increasingly interrupting family meals and other activities.

It has been modified over the years, including the recent TRACED Act, which was signed into law in late 2019. These modifications represent government's efforts to stay ahead of technological advances which allow telemarketers to tweak their calling techniques in an effort to skirt TCPA rules.

The latest ruling attempts to clarify what constitutes an "autodialer" in the TCPA. Per the Act, an autodialer is defined as “equipment which has the capacity—(A) to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and (B) to dial such numbers.”

Under the new ruling, the FCC states, "we clarify that the fact that a calling platform or other equipment is used to make calls or send texts to a large volume of telephone numbers is not probative of whether that

equipment constitutes an autodialer under the TCPA. Instead, we make clear that if a calling platform is not capable of originating a call or sending a text without a person actively and affirmatively manually

dialing each one, that platform is not an autodialer and calls or texts made using it are not subject to the TCPA’s restrictions on calls and texts to wireless phones.

P2P Alliance Petition

In 2018, a group of providers and users of peer-to-peer messaging services for schools, non-profits, and other groups known as the P2P Alliance filed a petition with the FCC asking for clarification on the definition of an "autodialer." The P2P Alliance's petition centers around P2P text messages.

Per the group's website, the "P2P Alliance exists to proactively advocate for clear consumer protections governing P2P text messaging that distinguish good actors from bad actors and protect consumers from unwanted, automated robocalls."

Unintended Consequences

Unfortunately, the group's petition may allow robocallers to flourish, because the FCC did not limit the ruling to text messages. The ruling also applies to voice calls, and declares that if a dialing system requires human intervention to dial consumers it may not meet the definition of an "autodialer" as defined in the TCPA.

Per the FCC's ruling, "We clarify that the fact that a calling platform or other equipment is used to make calls or send texts to a large volume of telephone numbers is not determinative of whether that equipment constitutes an autodialer under the TCPA. Instead, whether the calling platform or equipment is an autodialer turns on whether such equipment is capable of dialing random or sequential telephone numbers without human intervention. If a calling platform is not capable of dialing such numbers without a person actively and affirmatively manually dialing each one, that platform is not an autodialer and calls made using it are not subject to the TCPA’s restrictions on calls to wireless phones."

The new ruling does not affect rules governing restrictions related to the do-not-call list or consent.

A copy of the FCC's ruling can be downloaded here.

Read more at Federal Communications Commission

Source: https://www.fcc.gov


White car with open hood and headlight

Edmunds Recommends Purchasing Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles During Holiday Weekend

Used cars with certified pre owned extended warranties offer greater value and savings to consumers

Edmunds

Consumers thinking about purchasing a new vehicle this Fourth of July holiday weekend should consider looking at the used vehicle market, according to the car shopping experts at Edmunds. Edmunds' experts note that selection and savings are currently limited in the new vehicle market because inventory levels for new vehicles are running low due to factory shutdowns during COVID-19 and that the generous financing incentives offered by automakers at the start of the pandemic are drying up since more shoppers have returned to the market. According to Edmunds data, new car inventory at the beginning of June was down by a third compared to the same time last year.

"This Independence Day weekend might look a bit different than years past when it comes to incentives and deals on new vehicles, but the good news for price-conscious shoppers is that there's plenty of value and selection in the used market," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights. "For those concerned about the risks associated with buying used, a certified pre-owned vehicle might be a good compromise as it comes with a warranty and is generally newer with lower mileage. And, thanks to a deluge of off-lease vehicles hitting the market, there's a much wider selection of these vehicles for shoppers to choose from."

Edmunds data reveals that the cost of a 3-year-old CPO vehicle is 33% less on average than the same new vehicle, which comes out to $12,193 in average savings. To help shoppers looking to purchase a CPO vehicle this holiday weekend, Edmunds experts have compiled a list of average savings for 2017 model-year CPO vehicles compared to their 2020 model-year new counterparts.

CPO Extended Warranty Tips

Edmunds experts have also put together some tips and considerations for car shoppers if they're considering purchasing a CPO vehicle this holiday weekend:

 • Make sure it is a genuine CPO vehicle. Sometimes a dealership will label a vehicle as "certified," but it isn't the same thing as a manufacturer's CPO program. Check the window sticker for the manufacturer's CPO logo and find out who is providing the warranty. If the name of the warranty provider is the same as the make of the vehicle, you're in good shape.

 • Know what the warranty covers. A manufacturer CPO vehicle will always come with a limited warranty, or a limited warranty and a powertrain warranty, which will cover major engine and transmission components. Every automaker's website lists the details of its CPO warranty. Take the time to read about the brand you're interested in and learn which items are and are not covered before making a decision to buy.

 • Make sure to check the car out in person. This doesn’t necessarily mean going to the dealership. Due to safety concerns during COVID-19, many dealerships are willing to drive vehicles to local shoppers' homes for test drives while following social distancing measures such as wearing masks and sanitizing the vehicle fully. Just call or text the dealership in advance to see what your options are.

"Many shoppers are unaware of the benefits of CPO vehicles, but given some of the financial uncertainties faced by so many Americans today, now is a great time for consumers to look into them as an alternative to new," said Ivan Drury, Edmunds' senior manager of insights. "These vehicles come pre-inspected, are required to meet automakers' condition standards, and offer peace of mind with an extended warranty. Also, specific colors and features can change from must haves to nice-to-haves when you're looking at savings in the $10,000 range, especially on models that haven't been redesigned in the last few years."

About Edmunds

Edmunds guides car shoppers online from research to purchase. With in-depth reviews of every new vehicle, shopping tips from an in-house team of experts, plus a wealth of consumer and automotive market insights, Edmunds helps millions of shoppers each month select, price and buy a car with confidence. Regarded as one of America's best workplaces by Fortune and Great Place to Work, Edmunds is based in Santa Monica, California, and has a satellite office in Detroit, Michigan. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Read more at Edmunds

Source: https://www.edmunds.com


red phone

Extended Warranty Robocallers Face Increased Fines for Violating TCPA

FCC passes new TRACED Act provisions directed at reducing the number of robocalls

Warranty Informer

Extended car warranty telemarketers who illegally robodial consumers face strict new fines for intentionally violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) under new provisions the Federal Communications Commission outlined in the TRACED Act.

The penalty for intentionally violating the TCPA has been increased by the FCC to $10,000 per illegal robocall. Under the old TCPA rules, the penalty was $1,500 per call.

The Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, known as the TRACED Act, makes modifications to the TCPA due to the increased number of illegal robocalls and text messages received by consumers in recent years.

The three recently passed provisions are:

 1. Fines of up to $10,000 per robocall where the caller intentionally violates the TCPA.

 2. The FCC can now issue fines to illegal robodialers on the first offense. Under prior rules, the FCC had to issue a citation before issuing fines.

 3. The statute of limitations was lengthened from two years to four years.

A full copy of the FCC's order can be downloaded here.

Read more at Federal Communications Commission

Source: https://www.fcc.gov


Upset woman dialing cell phone

Judge Grants Motion to Appear by Phone in Extended Warranty Robocall Lawsuit

Complaint filed against National Car Cure and others alleges warranty robocalls violated TCPA

Warranty Informer

On Thursday, June 25th Magistrate Judge Christine A. Nowak of The Texas Eastern District of US District Court approved a Motion for Leave to Appear Telephonically filed by the Defendants filed the previous day.

The Plaintiff, Craig Cunningham of Texas, initially filed the Robocall lawsuit in December of 2019, and filed an amended complaint in May 2020.

The Judge's order grants the parties to appear by phone in a management conference scheduled for Thurday, July 2nd at 2pm.

Defendants in the case include National Car Cure, LLC, Sing for Service, LLC, doing business as Mepco, Data Genie, LLC, and Wolf Marketing, LLC.

The Warranty Informer will provide additional updates on this case as they occur.

A copy of our original post can be found below:


On May 4, 2020, Plaintiff Craig Cunningham filed an amended complaint in his Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit against Defendant Matrix Financial Services, LLC. The initial complaint, filed in early December 2019, alleged that Cunningham received robocalls from the plaintiffs attempting to sell him an extended car warranty. The latest filing adds additional robocall allegations to the mix.

Matrix Financial Services

According to the suit, Matrix is an extended car warranty administrator headquartered in Texas. Regulatory filings state that Matrix Financial Services, LLC is a Wyoming limited liability corporation which was incorporated in 2017. Jay Tuerk, Joel San Antonio, and Brandon San Antonio are listed as officers of the company.

Plateau Casualty Insurance Company

The lawsuit lists Plateau Casualty Insurance Company as Matrix's obligor on the service contract, and states that Plateau is a "vicariously liable party" because "Plateau Casualty was paid as a result of Defendant Matrix gaining the Plaintiff as a customer through illegal robocalls."

Additional Defendants listed in the amended complaint are:

 •  National Car Cure, an extended warranty telemarketer in West Palm Beach, FL

 •  Sing for Service d/b/a Mepco of Chicago, IL

 •  Wolf Marketing, LLC, a defunct Florida corporation

 •  Vincent Yates, and

 •  Jeremy Valentino

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, known as TCPA, the law was enacted in 1991 as a response at the time to consumer outrage against telemarketers. A provision of the TCPA is to make it unlawful "to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice … to any telephone number assigned to a … cellular telephone service."

In addition, it is a violation of the TCPA to "initiate any telephone call to any residential telephone line using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message without the prior express consent of the called party, unless the call is initiated for emergency purposes, is made solely pursuant to the collection of a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States, or is exempted by rule or order." The law also requires that telemarketers have a do-not-call policy available on demand.

Spoofed extended warranty robocalls

Altogether, Cunningham claims to have received at least 140 robocalls soliciting him for a car warranty. According to the complaint, Cunningham received multiple calls from a variety of spoofed caller ID’s that contained a pre-recorded message and were initiated using an automated telephone dialing system. The calls were on behalf of the named defendants. The calls had a delay of 3-4 seconds of dead air before the pre-recorded message began indicating the calls were initiated using an ATDS."

The Plaintiff purchased two extended warranties from Matrix, which were sold through National Car Cure, the second was purchased after the initial lawsuit was filed in December, with Sing for Service/Mepco as another party listed in the provided documentation.

Mepco Finance Corporation

Per the lawsuit, "Defendant MEPCO is a vicariously liable party as they knew that Matrix and National Car cure were engaged in illegal telemarketing based on the Plaintiff’s original complaint, served on February 20, 2020 and despite this notice, MEPCO did not sever business ties with these companies and continued to ratify the conduct by continuing to accept customers generated from Defendant Matrix and Defendant National Car Cure."

National Car Cure

The suit claims that Gus Renny, William Finneran, and National Car Cure, "directed and contracted with Wolf Marketing to place illegal telemarketing calls to the Plaintiff’s cell phones in order to generate leads and sales to National Car Cure in order to sell vehicle service contracts issued by Defendant Matrix."

When Cunningham asked National Car Cure for a copy of their do-not-call policy, it was not provided to him.

Wolf Marketing

Cunningham's amended complaint claims that Wolf Marketing, LLC was the party who actually made the illegal robocalls. Wolf Marketing "initiated the illegal calls to the Plaintiff’s phone numbers in this case in order to generate leads and sales to National Car Cure in order to sell vehicle service contracts issued by Defendant Matrix," the complaint states.

Texas Business and Commerce Code

Cunningham, in addition, claims that the defendants calls were a violation of the Texas Business and Commerce Code 305.053 by both placing automated pre-recorded calls to a cell phone, as well as spoofing the caller ID on those calls.

The suit asks for statutory damages of $3,000 for each of 30 calls claimed to be in violation of TCPA, and an additional $1,500 per call statutory damages for 47 calls the Plaintiff claims were in violation of the Texas and Business Commerce Code 305.053, as well as costs and attorney's fees.

The complaint was filed in US District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, case 4:19-cv-00896-ALM-CAN, Cunningham v. Matrix Financial Services, LLC et al.

A copy of the amended complaint can be found here.

Read more at PacerMonitor

Source: https://www.pacermonitor.com


Steering wheel

Dodge and Kia Rank Highest in 2020 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study

136 warranty claims per 100 vehicles for both manufacturers in the first 90 days of ownership

Warranty Informer

Automotive analytics firm J.D. Power released its 34th annual Initial Quality Study, which assesses issues experienced by owner's of new 2020 model-year vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership.

The study is a snapshot of problems new car owners have with their vehicles, including issues related to new technology, such as infotainment systems and other electronic components. New in this year's study is a measure of "features that are difficult to use, hard to understand, or don't work the way owners want."

Domestic Brand Results

Dodge, Chevrolet, Ram, Buick, GMC, Jeep and Cadillac all perform better than the overall industry average of 166 problems per 100 vehicles. Dodge leads the pack this year with 136 issues per 100 vehicles. The Chevrolet Sonic achieved the best score of all vehicles in the study, with 103 problems per 100 vehicles.

According to J.D. Power, this year's performance from American brands is the best when compared to import brands in the 34 year history of the study.

Premium Brand Performance

Premium brands, such as BMW (176 PP100), Mercedes-Benz (202 PP100), Volvo (210 PP100), Audi (225 PP100) and Land Rover (228 PP100) all tend to perform worse than average in the study. Premium automakers tend to pack their vehicles with complex technologies, which can lead to more abundant problems.

Genesis, Lexus, and Cadillac are the only premium brands that performed better than the industry average.

This also marks the first year that Tesla was profiled for the Initial Quality Study, and it ranked dead-last with 250 problems per 100 vehicles. J.D. Power notes that Tesla limits the number of states where consumers can be surveyed, with 15 states being off-limits to the study.

Infotainment Systems Problematic

The study notes that nearly a quarter of complaints cited in the study are related to infotainment systems.

"Top complaints include built-in voice recognition; Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity; touchscreens; built-in navigation systems; and Bluetooth® connectivity," according to J.D. Power's press release related to the study.

Initial Quality Study Details

Also according to the press release, "The 2020 U.S. Initial Quality Study is based on responses from 87,282 purchasers and lessees of new 2020 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study, which provides manufacturers with information to facilitate the identification of problems and drive product improvement, was fielded from February through May 2020."

About J.D. Power

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power has offices serving North America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Read more at J.D. Power

Source: https://www.jdpower.com


Tudor home with grass

Liberty Home Guard Launches Online Home Warranty Management Portal

Customers can add warranty coverage, file claims, track billing, and manage other features

Business Wire

Liberty Home Guard, announced the launch of their new customer portal on their website. The interface utilizes advanced technology which allows customers to conveniently manage their home warranty account anywhere, at any time. Liberty Home Guard is taking the next step in working with a growing customer base who have increasingly unique demands for complex home systems and appliances to be underwritten.

The portal provides a simple and easy way for customers to access their accounts and communicate with their account manager from the Liberty Home Guard team. Customers may view and manage their billing and account summary, as well as file claims and follow up on existing ones. Customers can also add on or modify coverage, selecting from a variety of options for how to add or subtract an appliance or home amenity from their warranty. An introductory video can be found on the Liberty Home Guard portal’s login page (https://www.libertyhomeguard.com/customer-login/).

Benjamin Joseph, cofounder of Liberty Home Guard, says, “We wanted to make it easier for our customers to manage their account at their own convenience. Liberty’s services are available in over 40 states, including the District of Columbia, across all four time zones. Our service portal will assist us in quickly and efficiently meeting the ever-changing needs of our nation-wide customer base.”

David Moreno, cofounder of Liberty Home Guard, added, “Our extensive network includes the nation’s best technicians who maintain an ‘LHG-Certified’ status while operating on our platform to ensure that each repair is fixed the first time around. We look forward to making these services more quickly and readily available to our customers around the country by debuting our new customer service portal.”

About Liberty Home Guard

Liberty Home Guard is a New York City-based direct seller of home warranty plans. It offers inexpensive policies that are systems-focused, appliance-focused, or all inclusive and works with a network of independent, licensed contractors in 39 US states including Washington DC. Its board boasts over 100 years of experience in the home services business.

Read more at Business Wire

Source: https://www.businesswire.com


android smartphone

Google Facing Possible Pixel 3 Class Action Lawsuit

Complaints include battery drain, subpar photo quality, and application crashes

Warranty Informer

The lawfirm of Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP is investigating a potential class action lawsuit for potential defects in Google's Pixel 3 smartphone.

Users have long complained on forums about battery drain issues that cause sudden phone shutdown. According to one Reddit user under the title "Sudden battery drain" on the website's Pixel3 subreddit, "This seems to have just started recently, but if I let my phone hit ~30% battery, like something out of a horror movie, it suddenly starts losing 1% a second until it dies. I guess the sensor could also be wrong, but I've essentially been treating 30% as 0%." Another user on the website posted a video of their Pixel 3 "using 18% for 5h19min of just idle without screentime."

A post on Google's support forum states "My Pixel 3 is about 3 months old. Recently when the battery levels gets to about 15% or 14%, it suddenly drains down to zero in like 15 seconds...like watching a count down as the percentage levels drops 1% each second."

This is not the first time Google has faced battery issues on their Google branded smartphones. Settlements were offered to owners of Nexus 6P smartphones for similar battery issues, and in 2019, the company settled with owners of it's original Pixel phone over microphone issues for $7.25 million.

CSK&D is also investigating issues with the Pixel 3's smartphone and accompanying smartphone app. Users have complained that the camera's app "shakes and vibrates" which results in poor quality photos and videos, and other users have reported that the camera app simply crashes.

The lawfirm is asking Pixel 3 owners who have experienced any of these issues to fill out a form on their website, which is located at https://chimicles.com/.

Read more at Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP

Source: https://chimicles.com


Fan of hundred dollar bills in hands

AmTrust and EX-CFO to Pay $10.5 Million to Settle Fraud Allegations

Insurer subsidaries back several extended warranty programs

Warranty Informer

On June 17, the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. and its former CFO Ronald E. Pipoly Jr. for failure to disclose material facts relating to how AmTrust estimated its insurance losses and reserves.

The filing specifies a date range between March 16, 2010 and February 29, 2016 where the company did not disclose their process for reporting management's best estimate of loss reserves. The complaint specifies that the process was performed by AmTrust's former Chief Financial Officer Ronald Pipoly.

Under Generally Accepted Accounting Principals (GAAP), insurers are required to disclose the methodology for estimating loss reserves, which also includes major risks and uncertainties underlying those estimates, which are commonly known as "management's best estimates" (MBE).

The complaint states that although AmTrust disclosed the "general actuarial process for estimating loss reserves," AmTrust did not:

 • disclose and describe Pipoly’s methodologies to determine MBE on a total and segmental basis, including all the quantitative and qualitative factors that Pipoly considered in his analyses;

 • disclose the manner in which Pipoly’s process to determine MBE on a total and segmental basis diverged from the actuarial analyses of AmTrust’s internal and external actuaries; and

 • disclose that Pipoly’s process included consolidated accounting adjustments that diverged from internal actuarial estimates to report MBE in the Company’s consolidated financial statements (“MBE Adjustments”), including the total and segmental amounts of MBE Adjustments, their impact on AmTrust’s reported loss reserves and expenses, and the specific factors or assumptions supporting management’s judgment to record the MBE Adjustments.

The filing also accuses AmTrust of failing to maintain sufficient supporting documentation for MBE, a sufficient system of internal accounting controls of MBE, and effective disclosure controls and procedures of MBE.

AmTrust and Pipoly have neither agreed with or denied the SEC's allegations. Pipoly will reportedly pay $237,500, and AmTrust will pay $10.3 million.

It was reported in 2018 that an auditor secretly taped conversations regarding AmTrust's audit using a recording device disguised as a Starbucks gift card. The auditor was allegedly cooperating as a whistleblower with the SEC and taped the conversations for the FBI.

AmTrust was a publicly traded company until 2018, when the company went private.

A copy of the SEC's complaint can be viewed here.

Read more at US Securities and Exchange Commission

Source: https://www.sec.gov


Time stop photo of traffic in Atlanta at dusk

EFG Companies Announces New Flagship Vehicle Service Contract

New VSC increases penetration up to 15 percent through 25 million term options

EFG Companies

EFG Companies, the innovator behind the award-winning Hyundai Assurance program, today announced the launch of its re-imagined Motorist Assistance Plan (MAP®) vehicle service contract (VSC). This newly-engineered VSC provides dealers the potential to increase VSC sales by 15 percent through 25 million available terms, and generating up to $200,000 in revenue per year. For more information, visit: https://www.efgcompanies.com/

Traditional VSCs have a small set of very specific terms that may not fit every customer’s needs, forcing dealers to shoehorn customers into narrow terms with too much or too little coverage. With the enhanced MAP, EFG expanded eligibility requirements and term mileage in 2,500 mileage increments, resulting in 25 million term options dynamically available to the dealer. Along with five deductible options and six surcharge options, the updated MAP allows the dealer to better tailor the product to each customer’s personal driving habits, giving them a viable product for every customer and increasing penetration rates. Cancelled contracts and burdensome chargebacks are also reduced for the dealer with the product’s focus on each customer’s specific protection and budget constraints.

A significant benefit to the newly-designed MAP is the product’s surgical-level risk-based pricing. Not only is this more beneficial for all customers, dealers significantly benefit from greater contract specificity in their reinsurance positions as reserves are better aligned with contract coverage. This creates a much more efficient loss management and rating process, reducing the impact of high-volume claims on dealers’ reinsurance positions.

“Recent events around the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly accelerated the pace of change in the automotive industry, from online vehicle retailing to F&I products that have a higher degree of relevancy to the consumer,” said John Pappanastos, President & CEO of EFG Companies. “The US long-term economic outlook reflects diminished consumer confidence, driving consumers to demand more specific levels of protection that are better aligned with their individual needs and budgets at a more specific level than we’ve ever seen before. This product delivers on all fronts for the consumers while meeting dealers’ evolving profitability hurdles.”

MAP is designed for new, used and high mileage vehicles. With four levels of coverage, including exclusionary and named components, MAP eligibility is extended to current plus 12-model-year vehicles with less than or equal to 150,000 miles.

F&I managers can offer MAP based on the individual driving habits of their customers with:

 • expanded eligibility requirements;

 • expanded term mileage in 2,500-mile increments;

 • six surcharge options that include commercial and ride-sharing vehicles; and,

 • five deductible options to meet every customer’s need at the time of a claim.

EFG continues to be on the cutting edge of developing VSC products designed to meet the needs of today’s consumers while supporting the continuing challenges faced by auto dealers. EFG was one of the first to market in August 2019 with MAP Electric Vehicle Protection, a VSC specifically designed for the needs of EV customers. MAP Electric Vehicle Protection provides exclusionary coverage for all assemblies, parts and the battery installed by the manufacturer, except those specifically excluded, of up to 11 years and 150,000 miles. Most manufacturers provide coverage for an EV battery up to 8 years or 100,000 miles.

About EFG Companies

EFG Companies drives the industry’s highest-reported compliant F&I profitability through its distinct engagement model in which the company operates as an extension of the dealer’s management team. EFG addresses total dealership performance, and its client satisfaction Net Promoter score is higher than national corporate leaders such as Nordstrom, Ritz Carlton, and Amazon.

Read more at EFG Companies

Source: https://www.efgcompanies.com


blue phone

Warranty Scam Robocalls Increase 10 Percent in May 2020

13.7 million more extended warranty calls vs. April 2020 according to YouMail Robocall Index

Warranty Informer

According to the YouMail Robocall Index, warranty scam robocalls were up 10 percent in May 2020 over the prior month. An estimated total of 149.5 million extended warranty robocalls were placed in May, a total of nearly 5 million illegal warranty robocalls each day.

The increase in warranty calls was greater than the overall increase of robocalls, which is pegged at about 3% higher over the prior month, growth which is attributed to an additional day in May versus April.

According to YouMail, "Americans received just under 3.0 billion robocalls in May, a 3% increase from April. However, the number of calls per day in May was almost identical to the number of calls per day in April, again averaging just over 95 million calls per day, or roughly 1,104 calls per second. This means the slight increase was simply due to one more day in the month of May versus April. The calls are still 48% below the all-time monthly peak of 5.7 billion calls in October 2019."

"May's continuing steady volume of robocalls shows that COVID-19 continues to stem the tide of robocalls," said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. "However, we fully expect robocalls to increase in line with decreasing lockdowns and an improving economy."

YouMail

YouMail blocks unwanted robocallers by making sure the user's phone doesn't ring, and then plays an out-of-service message that leads them to think they dialed an invalid number. YouMail identifies problematic numbers and robocalls using a combination of its recently patented audio fingerprinting technology, call patterns, and consumer feedback.

YouMail provides the YouMail Robocall Index to estimate robocall volume across the country and for specific area codes every month. This estimate is formed by extrapolating from the behavior of the billions of calls YouMail has handled for its users, and these statistics are regularly cited by the FCC as a definitive source for national data trends.

Read more at YouMail Robocall Index

Source: http://robocallindex.com


woman talking on iPhone

Press 1 to Speak to Someone Regarding Your Extended Warranty

Extended warranty robocalls are out of control, and we're going to do our part to expose the scammers

Warranty Informer - Opinion

Saturdays and Sundays are, for the most part peaceful. "Why," you ask, "my weekends are insane. There's never enough time to get everything done, and the next thing you know, it 9 o'clock on Sunday night."

Agreed.

The thing that makes the weekend peaceful for me is that my phone doesn't ring that much. Sure, it rings a little on Saturday mornings, but Sunday, nothing.

But this morning, it started again.

Ring.

"Hello?"

Awkward silence, then "Hello, this is your final call before we close your file. Press 1 to speak to someone regarding your vehicle's extended warranty before it's too late."

Another extended warranty robocall.

Sometimes there's an option to press 2 or another number to be "removed from the list." But pressing 2 doesn't remove you from the list. I'm pretty sure it just makes the dialing machine angrier.

Sometimes they call my cell phone. Sometimes it's my home phone. Or my wife's phone. Or my kids' phones. And sometimes it's all of them.

It's always from a vaguely familiar number. Usually the same area code, or if not, a nearby one. I could go on, but you know exactly what I would say if I did, because you get them too.

All of our phones are on the do-not-call list, and we don't opt in to anything, yet we keep getting these calls to extend our warranties, which are sure to expire soon if they haven't already, but the thing is, every time they call, I have to tell them what car I own. Seems to me if you knew my warranty was gasping for it's final breath before descending into eternal expiration, you would know what I drive.

Most people just hang up on them.

Not me, because I used to work in some of these places. Instead, sometimes I try to make it to the end so I can buy a warranty, then figure out who sold it to me and what other companies have chosen to do business with them. Then I let them all know, because I know all of them. Like I said, I used to work in some of these places.

The thing is, though, it's difficult for me to make it all the way to the end--the point where they email me the paperwork. It's difficult, because I know to much, and if I happen to say the wrong thing: click. Silence.

You see, they are smart enough to know that I know, but they aren't smart enough to quit calling me.

And the people who work with them are making too much money off of those calls to stop. When people get exposed internally in the industry, everyone says they are going to do something about it. But nothing happens. Because money.

So we're doing this instead.

We're writing about it.

We're getting copies of the lawsuits that have been filed against you, and we're posting them. They're public record.

When activity happens in those lawsuits, we're getting those documents as well, and we're re-upping the stories and we're posting the new documents.

If you're doing business with the people who are scamming your parents and our parents out of retirement money, you're getting free publicity as well.

Chances are, if you have an elderly parent with a phone, they've been scammed as well.

We set up a tips page where people can submit information regarding these bad actors privately. You can even contact us or send us documents anonymously and securely via Signal at 779-717-2763. We encourage anyone who has information on those doing illegal warranty scam robocalls to send that information on to us.

Hopefully, if we write about it enough, the weekdays will be as peaceful as the weekends.

Read more at

Source: https://warrantyinformer.com


Upset woman dialing cell phone

National Car Cure Files Motion to Dismiss Extended Warranty Robocall Lawsuit

Complaint filed by Plaintiff Craig Cunningham alleges warranty robocalls violated TCPA

Warranty Informer

On June 11, 2020, Defendant National Car Cure, LLC filed a motion in United States District Court for dismissal of case 4:19-cv-00896, Cunningham v. Matrix Financial Services, LLC et al. The lawsuit alleges the Defendants violated the TCPA by placing illegal robocalls to sell extended warranties.

The 16 page filing accuses Plaintiff Cunningham as being a professional plaintiff who is "in the business of accepting telemarketing and other commercial phone calls for the express purpose of eliciting information in an attempt to cultivate a claim, and he then files suit for personal profit."

National Car Cure's motion states that "Cunningham's suit against National Car Cure is another frivolous attempt that lacks any theory of recovery whatsoever. Cunningham has done nothing more than paraphrase the relevant legal standards for the so-called claims listed in his Amended Complaint."

A copy of National Car Cure's motion to dismiss can be downloaded here.

The Warranty Informer will provide additional updates on this case as they occur.

A copy of our original post can be found below:


On May 4, 2020, Plaintiff Craig Cunningham filed an amended complaint in his Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit against Defendant Matrix Financial Services, LLC. The initial complaint, filed in early December 2019, alleged that Cunningham received robocalls from the plaintiffs attempting to sell him an extended car warranty. The latest filing adds additional robocall allegations to the mix.

Matrix Financial Services

According to the suit, Matrix is an extended car warranty administrator headquartered in Texas. Regulatory filings state that Matrix Financial Services, LLC is a Wyoming limited liability corporation which was incorporated in 2017. Jay Tuerk, Joel San Antonio, and Brandon San Antonio are listed as officers of the company.

Plateau Casualty Insurance Company

The lawsuit lists Plateau Casualty Insurance Company as Matrix's obligor on the service contract, and states that Plateau is a "vicariously liable party" because "Plateau Casualty was paid as a result of Defendant Matrix gaining the Plaintiff as a customer through illegal robocalls."

Additional Defendants listed in the amended complaint are:

 •  National Car Cure, an extended warranty telemarketer in West Palm Beach, FL

 •  Sing for Service d/b/a Mepco of Chicago, IL

 •  Wolf Marketing, LLC, a defunct Florida corporation

 •  Vincent Yates, and

 •  Jeremy Valentino

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, known as TCPA, the law was enacted in 1991 as a response at the time to consumer outrage against telemarketers. A provision of the TCPA is to make it unlawful "to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice … to any telephone number assigned to a … cellular telephone service."

In addition, it is a violation of the TCPA to "initiate any telephone call to any residential telephone line using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message without the prior express consent of the called party, unless the call is initiated for emergency purposes, is made solely pursuant to the collection of a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States, or is exempted by rule or order." The law also requires that telemarketers have a do-not-call policy available on demand.

Spoofed extended warranty robocalls

Altogether, Cunningham claims to have received at least 140 robocalls soliciting him for a car warranty. According to the complaint, Cunningham received multiple calls from a variety of spoofed caller ID’s that contained a pre-recorded message and were initiated using an automated telephone dialing system. The calls were on behalf of the named defendants. The calls had a delay of 3-4 seconds of dead air before the pre-recorded message began indicating the calls were initiated using an ATDS."

The Plaintiff purchased two extended warranties from Matrix, which were sold through National Car Cure, the second was purchased after the initial lawsuit was filed in December, with Sing for Service/Mepco as another party listed in the provided documentation.

Mepco Finance Corporation

Per the lawsuit, "Defendant MEPCO is a vicariously liable party as they knew that Matrix and National Car cure were engaged in illegal telemarketing based on the Plaintiff’s original complaint, served on February 20, 2020 and despite this notice, MEPCO did not sever business ties with these companies and continued to ratify the conduct by continuing to accept customers generated from Defendant Matrix and Defendant National Car Cure."

National Car Cure

The suit claims that Gus Renny, William Finneran, and National Car Cure, "directed and contracted with Wolf Marketing to place illegal telemarketing calls to the Plaintiff’s cell phones in order to generate leads and sales to National Car Cure in order to sell vehicle service contracts issued by Defendant Matrix."

When Cunningham asked National Car Cure for a copy of their do-not-call policy, it was not provided to him.

Wolf Marketing

Cunningham's amended complaint claims that Wolf Marketing, LLC was the party who actually made the illegal robocalls. Wolf Marketing "initiated the illegal calls to the Plaintiff’s phone numbers in this case in order to generate leads and sales to National Car Cure in order to sell vehicle service contracts issued by Defendant Matrix," the complaint states.

Texas Business and Commerce Code

Cunningham, in addition, claims that the defendants calls were a violation of the Texas Business and Commerce Code 305.053 by both placing automated pre-recorded calls to a cell phone, as well as spoofing the caller ID on those calls.

The suit asks for statutory damages of $3,000 for each of 30 calls claimed to be in violation of TCPA, and an additional $1,500 per call statutory damages for 47 calls the Plaintiff claims were in violation of the Texas and Business Commerce Code 305.053, as well as costs and attorney's fees.

The complaint was filed in US District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, case 4:19-cv-00896-ALM-CAN, Cunningham v. Matrix Financial Services, LLC et al.

A copy of the amended complaint can be found here.

Read more at PacerMonitor

Source: https://www.pacermonitor.com


court house with doric columns

Tentative Settlement Reached in Extended Warranty Robocall Class-Action Suit

Class-action lawsuit involved CarGuard Administration, Vehicle Protection Specialists, and Auto Protehct

Warranty Informer

According to a filing on June 5th, 2020 in the Massachusetts District of the United Stated District Court, Plaintiffs Joseph Barrett and Matthew Silverman have tentatively reached a settlement with Defendants CarGuard Administration, Vehicle Protection Specialists, and Auto Protehct in a class action lawsuit originally filed on April 16, 2020.

The original complaint alleged that the Defendants violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in early 2020.

The filing claims the Plaintiffs intend to file a Notice of Dismissal by June 30, 2020.

A copy of the June 5, 2020 filing can be found here.

The original post from April 20, 2020 follows below:


On Thursday, April 16th a class action lawsuit was filed against CarGuard Administration, Inc., Vehicle Protection Specialists LLC and AutoProtecht LLC. The complaint, with lead Plaintiffs Joseph Barrett and Matthew Silverman, alleges that telemarketers Vehicle Protection Specialists and Auto Protecht were retained by CarGuard Administration to market CarGuard's extended warranties, and that marketing was in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

The filing claims that Auto Protecht and Vehicle Protection Specialists sent numerous calls to residential phone numbers that are registered on the National Do Not Call List.

Barrett and Silverman are both residents of Massachusetts.

CarGuard Administration, Inc. was incorporated in 2015 and is headquartered in Overland Park, KS. Corporate filings show that Elijah Norton was removed as the company's Chairman, Director, and President earlier this year.

Vehicle Protection Specialists LLC is a Nevada LLC headquartered in Irvine, CA which was formed in 2013. Daniel Laurent is listed as the company's Managing Member.

Auto Protecht LLC, formed in late 2018, is a California LLC based in Orange, CA. Andrew Engle and Casey Schilling are listed as the company's members.

The filing alleges that Barrett's cell phone, which is registered on the National Do Not Call Registry, was called several times in early March 2020, promoting CarGuard's products. Barrett claims that the patterns in the calls were that of a predictive dialer which transfers calls to a live operator once a human answers a call.

Barrett purchased a service contract from the caller, which the plaintiff claims ultimately sent a confirmation email from a domain registered to Vehicle Protection Specialists.

Plaintiff Silverman claims his experience in late January 2020 was similar to that of Barrett, except that he ultimately received email correspondence from domains associated with both Vehicle Protection Specialists and Auto Protecht.

Even though the company did not initiate the alleged telemarketing calls, CarGuard was brought into the suit due to the fact that the FCC rules "rules generally establish that the party on whose behalf a solicitation is made bears ultimate responsibility for any violations."

In May of 2013, according to the suit, the FCC released a Declaratory Ruling stating that a corporation or other entity that contracts out its telephone marketing "may be held vicariously liable under federal common law principles of agency for violations . . . that are committed by third-party telemarketers."

The complaint seeks statutory damages of $1,500 per call for every call received by the lead plaintiffs and other members of the class.

A copy of the complaint can be found here.

Read more at PacerMonitor

Source: https://www.pacermonitor.com


Large Ford SUV on Valley of Fire Highway California

American Guardian Warranty Adds New Vehicle Protection Products

Company announces new appearance protection solutions for vehicles and expands coverage for technology components

Warranty Informer

American Guardian Warranty Services, Inc. (AGWS), an industry leading finance and insurance (F&I) provider that offers products and services in the automotive, RV, powersports, marine, and commercial trucking markets, has announced brand new product additions to their Appearance Protection Solutions and Compass Auto product lines.

Featuring an all-encompassing array of protective vehicle care products, the AGWS Appearance Protection Solutions line now includes ecologically friendly EcoProProducts, industry-leader Armor All®, Aviation Grade Cilajet®, and a portfolio of other products created for their outstanding protective properties to keep vehicles looking their best. AGWS-administered Appearance Protection Solutions Products are professionally applied to exterior finishes, and interior leather, vinyl, and fabrics to disinfect and maintain appearance and value for many years. The company's Compass Auto line has also expanded to include Compass Tech+, which provides extended coverage for a vehicle's technology components.

"We are proud to bolster our existing lines with these exciting new products to give our customers access to a wider breadth of Appearance Protection and Auto products," said Jon A. Anderson, president and COO of AGWS. "Thanks to our premier line of Appearance Protection products, drivers can safeguard their investments in a way that will ultimately preserve the vehicle's overall market value."

AGWS acquired EcoProProducts in 2019 and has seen an increased demand for the company's EcoProProducts MicrobeRepel™ System. Utilizing 24/7 active anti-microbial technology with stain and odor resistance, the formula creates a permanent bond to interior surfaces, ventilation systems, and cargo areas to eliminate 99.9 percent of microbes and germs that cause bacteria and viruses -- and, in particular, contains product on the EPA's list of disinfectants for use against SARS–CoV–2, the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID–19 (EPA Reg. No. 82972-1).

Select authorized agents and dealers can now benefit from the Armor All SmartShield® warranty program, which provides coverage not available from the manufacturer, and protects exteriors from environmental elements such as acid rain, hard water spots, and insects; and interiors from accidental food or beverage spills, child and pet mishaps, and much more. From the Cilajet product line, AGWS now offers Cilajet Ceramic, a unique and durable formula that completely fills surface pores, protecting paint and metal surfaces from environmental contaminants and damage; while Cilajet FAB helps to prevent permanent staining to a vehicle's upholstery from food, drinks, oils, lotions, and more; and Cilajet HIDE conditions and protects leather and vinyl seats from drying, fading, and discoloration. Lastly, the newest addition to the Compass Auto line, Compass Tech+, provides three levels of technology protection, plus additional available coverage, so customers can tailor-fit their protection to suit their needs.

Read more at PR Newswire

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com


Traffic from above

ProGuard Warranty Offers Free Three Month SiriusXM Subscription

Family owned extended warranty company offers subscription with purchase of a vehicle service contract

Warranty Informer

ProGuard Warranty is collaborating with SiriusXM to offer their customers nationwide a three-month SiriusXM subscription, included at no extra cost, with the purchase of any ProGuard protection plan for their vehicle. Eligible customers with a factory installed SiriusXM radio will receive three months of SiriusXM All Access, SiriusXM's most extensive package, which enables the listener to hear all that SiriusXM offers both in their vehicle and outside the car with the SiriusXM app. Customers who already received a trial subscription with their vehicle purchase are not eligible.

SiriusXM comes installed in over 75% of new vehicles sold in the U.S. and is available in a fast-growing number of pre-owned vehicles. An estimated 15.28 million vehicles up to 5 years old will be returned to the market in 2020 through the retail, lease and rental channels, according to J.D. Power.* ProGuard, which sells a wide variety of protection plans and ancillary products through several thousand dealers across the U.S., is well positioned to deliver the benefit of SiriusXM to a substantial base of potential customers in the market for a new or pre-owned vehicle.

"ProGuard has exceeded every growth benchmark we've ever set and as a company we are constantly looking ahead at what it will take to get to the next level. Further enriching the customer experience is our top priority and by giving our customers access to SiriusXM's wide-ranging audio entertainment we are adding value to our already superior products. Teaming up with SiriusXM provides one more way we can differentiate ourselves and better serve our dealer partners." Dominic Limongelli, President, ProGuard Warranty

"At SiriusXM, we pride ourselves on delivering the best audio entertainment experience available, and as the number of SiriusXM-equipped vehicles in the pre-owned market grows every year, we want to get as many of those pre-owned customers as we can to tune in and experience all that we have to offer. Working with ProGuard, a trusted and growing brand, enables us to connect with a large population of buyers through ProGuard's thousands of independent and franchise dealer partners. And ProGuard will be able to deliver the added benefit of SiriusXM to eligible customers who buy any of their excellent F & I products." Gail Berger, Vice President, Auto Remarketing for SiriusXM.

SiriusXM's All Access package features Howard Stern, SiriusXM's wide variety of commercial-free music, plus live pro and college sports, talk programming, news, comedy and more. For more on what SiriusXM offers go to www.SiriusXM.com.

About ProGuard Warranty

ProGuard is a third-generation, family-owned business that has been serving the automotive industry for over seventy years. Their many years in the industry has led to a unique expertise in knowing the products and coverage needed to protect dealers and their customers. An expansive menu of new and pre-owned vehicle protection plans are available through their nationwide network of dealer partners. In addition, they offer a unique program specifically designed for commercial vehicles, a CPO program with multi-point inspection and GAP policies. Dealers appreciate the company's tradition of flexibility, transparency and simplicity, and their customers being protecting from the high cost of repairs.

Read more at PR Newswire

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com


Grey haired man in suit talking on a phone in the office

FCC Proposes $225 Million Fine in Massive Insurance Robocall Scheme

Penalty foreshadows tougher actions against other robodialers such as home warranty and extended warranty telemarketers

Warranty Informer

The Federal Communications Commission today proposed a $225 million fine against Texas-based health insurance telemarketers for apparently making approximately 1 billion illegally spoofed robocalls. This is the largest proposed fine in the FCC’s 86-year history, reflecting the seriousness of the apparent violations by John C. Spiller and Jakob A. Mears, who used business names including Rising Eagle and JSquared Telecom.

One billion spoofed robocalls

Rising Eagle made approximately 1 billion spoofed robocalls across the country during the first four-and-a-half months of 2019 on behalf of clients that sell short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans. Mr. Spiller admitted to the USTelecom Industry Traceback Group that he knowingly called consumers on the Do Not Call list as he believed that it was more profitable to target these consumers. He also admitted that he made millions of calls per day, and that he was using spoofed numbers.

The robocalls falsely claimed to offer health insurance plans from well-known health insurance companies such as Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and UnitedHealth Group. For example, one call stated: “Are you looking for affordable health insurance with benefits from a company you know? Policies have all been reduced nationwide such as Cigna, Blue Cross, Aetna, and United just a quick phone call away. Press 3 to get connected to a licensed agent or press 7 to be added to the Do Not Call list.” If they did press 3, consumers were transferred to a call center with no affiliation to the named companies, where call center representatives then would attempt to convince the consumer to purchase an insurance product sold by one of Rising Eagle’s clients. Rising Eagle’s largest client, Health Advisors of America, was sued by the Missouri Attorney General for telemarketing violations in February 2019.

Increased consumer complaints

Beginning in 2018, there was an increase in consumer complaints and robocall traffic related to health insurance and other health care products. The Traceback Group determined that approximately 23.6 million health insurance robocalls were crossing the networks of the four largest wireless carriers each day. The FCC Enforcement Bureau’s investigation found that a large portion of this unwelcome robocall traffic was driven by Rising Eagle.

The Truth in Caller ID Act prohibits manipulating caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value. The FCC’s investigation found that the robocalls made by Rising Eagle were spoofed in order to deceive consumers, targeted millions of Do Not Call list participants, and were received on many wireless phones without prior consumer consent. The scam also caused the companies whose caller IDs were spoofed to become overwhelmed with angry call-backs from aggrieved consumers. At least one company was hit with several lawsuits because its number was spoofed, and another was so overwhelmed with calls that its telephone network became unusable.

In recent years, the FCC has issued a number of very large fines and proposed fines for spoofing violations. In addition, it has permitted phone companies to block suspected malicious robocalls before they get to consumers; led the push for caller ID authentication using STIR/SHAKEN standards; worked to reduce unwanted calls to reassigned numbers; took steps to prevent scam robotexts; and provided many alerts, tips, and other education tools to help consumers protect themselves from scammers. More information is available at: https://www.fcc.gov/spoofed-robocalls.

The proposed action, formally called a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, or NAL, contains only allegations that advise a party on how it has apparently violated the law and may set forth a proposed monetary penalty. The Commission may not impose a greater monetary penalty in this case than the amount proposed in the NAL. Neither the allegations nor the proposed sanctions in the NAL are final Commission actions. The party will be given an opportunity to respond and the Commission will consider the party’s submission of evidence and legal arguments before acting further to resolve the matter.

Read more at Federal Communications Commission

Source: https://www.fcc.gov


Busy traffic on highway at dusk

Alpha Warrranty Wins Second Veteran-Owned Business of the Year Award

Vehicle Service Contract company's CEO Steve Rosenvall served in Afghanistan

Warranty Informer

Alpha Warranty Services was honored as Veteran-Owned Business of the Year, winning a Bronze Stevie® Award, in the 18th Annual American Business Awards® announced May 18th. This is the second time Alpha has been recognized in this category, winning a Silver Stevie® Award in 2017.

“As a veteran-owned company, we are proud of our military heritage and the foundation it has set for our values and operations. It’s an honor to be recognized by the American Business Awards for this achievement.” said Jeremy Lindsey, President of Alpha Warranty Services. “Our goals for the past year were challenging, yet our team was dedicated to accomplishing them. This award is a true testament to the drive and commitment of our outstanding employees.”

“Despite the toughest business conditions in memory, American organizations continue to demonstrate their commitment to innovation, creativity, and bottom-line results,” said Stevie Awards President Maggie Gallagher. “This year’s Stevie-winning nominations are full of inspiring stories of persistence, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and compassion. We celebrate all of their stories and look forward to showcasing them during our virtual awards ceremony on August 5.”

More than 3,600 nominations were reviewed in the judging process this year by 230 professionals worldwide, whose average scores determined the winners. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevie’s recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie® Awards at http://www.StevieAwards.com.

Alpha Warranty Services provides a full line of unique and valuable vehicle protection products and services. Alpha was founded in 2002 with a value system centered on integrity, dependability, and providing the best service. These principles have led to consistent growth and helped forge long-term partnerships with industry leaders across the country. Alpha has repeatedly received recognition as one of the top VSC providers in the industry.

Read more at Alpha Warranty Services

Source: https://www.alphawarranty.com


frustrated man in hoodie

Wisconsin BBB Issues Warning for US Automotive Protection Services

Bureau urges consumers to use caution when responding to extended warranty mailers from warranty company

Warranty Informer

Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises consumers to use caution when doing business with US Automotive Protection Services LLC, an extended vehicle service contract company located in O’Fallon, Missouri. Consumers allege the company uses misleading and high-pressure sales tactics, fails to cancel contracts in a timely manner or provide refunds, and provides poor customer service.

Consumers have posted more than 125 complaints and more than 100 customer reviews, most of which are negative, since February 2018 about US Automotive Protection Services LLC. The business has an “F” rating, the lowest on BBB’s scale.

Misleading extended warranty mailers

The company often solicits consumers through postcard mailers. Consumers tell BBB they believe the mailers are misleading. Consumers say the mailers convey a sense of urgency because their service contract may be expiring and they need to act immediately by calling the company. After the call is made, consumer say, hard-sell attempts are made to sell a vehicle service contract to the consumer.

BBB has warned consumers about the marketing tactics used by this industry for more than a decade, yet some companies have done little to change how they do business. If a consumer is seeking coverage for their vehicle, they need to do their research to find a policy that fits their needs.

Warranty refund difficulty

A woman from Colorado Springs, Colorado, told BBB she is still waiting to receive a refund on an extended vehicle service contract she purchased in October 2019. Soon after buying a used vehicle in August 2019, she said she received a mailer from US Automotive Protection Services LLC. She said she believed she had to act quickly.

The woman said she never used the policy and asked for a refund in February 2020, but was told no refund would be given. She was seeking $745 from the company, which did not respond to her complaint filed with BBB. She said she had difficulty canceling the policy.

“They kept questioning my decision, asking me if I was making the right choice,” the woman told BBB. “I was on the phone with them for an hour, trying to tell them I didn’t want the policy any longer.”

The daughter of an 80-year man from Rapid City, South Dakota, told BBB her father waited approximately a year before getting a partial refund from US Automotive Protection Services LLC. The man first tried to cancel a vehicle service contract he believed his late wife purchased. The woman said her father called the business several times over a number of months, but customer service representatives would not cancel the policy and the business continued to charge him monthly for the vehicle service contract.

“They made him feel like he was stupid,” the woman told BBB. “At one point they told him he only had seven payments left so he should just keep it.”

The woman eventually took over her father’s affairs and attempted to get the contract canceled. She said the business tried to talk her out of canceling. When she asked for a copy of the contract, she said she was told she would have to pay a $20 fee.

“Their customer service is terrible. I was treated terribly,” the woman told BBB.

The man received a refund of $1,200 in early May 2020, about a year after he made his first call to the company for cancellation. The family sought more than $1,700 in charges.

BBB questions unanswered

According to Missouri secretary of state records, the business was registered on June 28, 2017. Brandon Michael Schrader is listed as the business organizer.

BBB has questioned the company about statements made on its mailers, but the company has not addressed BBB’s concerns.

“Our records indicate that you have not contacted us to have your vehicle protection activated,” a typical mailer reads. “This notice is to inform you that your (vehicle year and model) is in need of vehicle protection in order to ensure its continued safe operation. Please call us today at (toll-free number). By neglecting to activate your protection program you will be responsible for paying all repairs out of pocket.”

The recipient of the mailer is given a deadline date to respond and is told “immediate response requested.”

The company did not respond to a BBB letter asking what it is doing to address its ongoing, serious pattern of complaints.

Useful extended warranty tips

BBB tips for consumers considering purchasing a vehicle service contract:

 • Research any business and its owners carefully before paying any money. Check the company’s BBB Business Profile at BBB.org or by calling 800-273-1002.

 • Do not be pressured into making an immediate decision. Beware of any sales offer that requires you to buy now in order to qualify for the best rate.

 • Never give away any personal or credit card information over the phone or via e-mail until you have read and agreed to the terms and conditions to a contract.

 • Beware of claims that you will receive “bumper-to-bumper” coverage on your vehicle. That does not necessarily mean that every problem will be covered. Look for conditions and disclaimers.

 • Read your manufacturer’s warranty and contact your dealer or manufacturer to make sure you are not purchasing duplicate coverage.

 • Do the math. Sometimes the cost of a service contract may be more than the value of the vehicle.

For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002.

Read more at Wisconsin Better Business Bureau

Source: https://urbanmilwaukee.com


iPhone in hand

Illinois Attorney General Issues Robocall Reply Comments to FCC as Part of AG Group

TRACED Act targets extended warranty scams and other illegal robocall scams

Warranty Informer

Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of the State Attorneys General Robocall Working Group, issued a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) encouraging continued collaboration among state attorneys general and telecom companies to coordinate tracing back illegal robocalls to their source.

“Robocalls continue to be some of the most frequent consumer complaints my office receives, and with good reason because they cost people time and money,” Raoul said. “States partnering with the FCC and telecom companies help us trace these illegal calls back to their source and support our work to end the nuisance of robocalls.”

Under the TRACED Act, which became law in December 2019, the FCC will select a single registered association to manage the work to trace back illegal robocalls. Because a call can pass through the networks of many telecom companies before reaching its final destination, tracing that call, which is key to enforcing laws against illegal robocallers, requires collaboration among telecom companies and state attorneys general. In their comments, Raoul and the coalition note that traceback investigations are necessary for law enforcement to more efficiently identify and investigate illegal robocallers and expose voice service providers that assist and facilitate illegal robocallers.

For the last few years, state attorneys general have encouraged the telecom industry to increase the number and speed of traceback investigations each month. Many telecom companies have joined this effort and are working hard to stop illegal robocallers. Traceback investigations are more urgent than ever because of coronavirus-related robocall scams, including scams related to coronavirus relief checks, pitches for coronavirus test kits, health plans offering coronavirus testing, work-from-home offers preying on job-seekers, and scams offering relief on utility bills, student loans, taxes, or other debt.

Since 2018, Illinois has been a member of a coalition of states working with the telecom industry to attack the scourge of robocalls in a comprehensive way by implementing commonsense business practices to minimize illegal robocalls and trace these calls back to their source. This coalition of 45 states includes Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Attorney General Raoul is joined in submitting today’s comments by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Attorney General Raoul has been a consistent advocate for protections against illegal robocalls. In 2019, Raoul, in cooperation with the FTC, announced a major crackdown on robocalls that included 94 actions targeting operations around the country that were responsible for more than 1 billion calls. As part of that crackdown, Raoul filed a lawsuit against Glamour Services, LLC; Awe Struck, Inc.; and Matthew Glamkowski, the manager of Glamour Services and president of Awe Struck for allegedly using robocalling and telemarking to solicit home cleaning services. In May 2019, Raoul submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission urging the adoption of its proposed rules on enforcement against caller ID spoofing.

A copy of the reply comments letter can be found here.

Read more at Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul

Source: https://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov


Tachometer

APCO Launches Credit Union Focused Extended Warranty Products

MemberCare offers F&I type vehicle protection products to consumers through credit unions

MemberCare

APCO Holdings, LLC announced the launch of MemberCare, a new brand of vehicle protection products that will be sold through credit unions. MemberCare offers credit unions the ability to provide additional value to their members by helping them protect their new and used-vehicle purchases with a vehicle service contract, among other vehicle protection benefits, through a hyper-focused and member-centric offering.

With over 11 million drivers protected and more than $3.5 billion paid in claims, MemberCare offers three unique levels of coverage so that credit unions can cater to each member’s specific needs, helping them protect their investment from unexpected repair costs, increasing their resale value and providing them the peace of mind if a breakdown does occur. In addition to the traditional vehicle service contract, MemberCare offers the option for road hazard tire and wheel coverage, key replacement, paintless dent repair and windshield repair. Plus, every MemberCare contract comes with 24/7 emergency roadside assistance, substitute transportation and trip interruption reimbursement.

Motor Trend® Recommended Best Buy

MemberCare is the only vehicle protection brand to be named a Motor Trend® Recommended Best Buy in the credit union space. With this distinction, credit unions can be confident they are protecting their members by partnering with a provider committed to providing industry-leading protection products, unrivaled member service, and an exceptional claims experience.

APCO Holdings partnered with Allied Solutions, LLC., in late 2019 to be a distribution partner for MemberCare, Allied supports over 4,000 credit unions with more than 150 products and solutions. Allied chose APCO for its member-centric focus, and unparalleled reputation in the vehicle product protection segment, “APCO is a very vibrant, significant player in the marketplace who has taken the expertise and experience they have with their consumers and transitioned that into a customized product and solution for the credit union industry. ” said Pete Hilger, President & CEO, Allied Solutions.

Value Over Volume

“At APCO Holdings, our mission is not to write as many policies as we can. It’s to offer real value and reliable coverage—and to pay every legitimate claim with no hassle or delay,” said Brian Becker, Executive Vice President, APCO Holdings, LLC. “Allied Solutions recognized our alignment with the credit union movement and has given us the opportunity to bring our unparalleled track record and core values to market.”

Citing an Experian report that showed as many as one in four Americans had joined a credit union by 2017, Becker noted credit unions are adding members at an astonishing clip as they shift focus on direct lending — and looking for new ways to protect those members from undue financial distress in the process.

“MemberCare is a mission,” said Becker. “With the most modern protection benefits, a relentless focus on member experience, and a unique desire to be transparent with our partners, credit unions have ultimate peace of mind. Our purpose is the credit union’s member so we continually seek to align with the value and service levels expected by credit unions for their members.”

Read more at MemberCare

Source: https://membercare.com


Money

Better Business Bureau Issues Alert for Scams Affecting Older Americans

Senior citizens are often targeted by scammers selling home warranties and extended warranties

Better Business Bureau

No matter your age, no one is immune to scams. But older adults report higher median losses. Why is that? Scammers often target this group with schemes, such as investment fraud and romance scams, where victims lose thousands of dollars. Watch out for these tricks and techniques often used to scam older adults.

Why Older Adults?

According to the 2019 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, fraud susceptibility decreases as you get older, but dollar loss actually increases with age. Adults over age 65 reported a median loss of $350. That’s a significant increase from the average $100 lost by people aged 18–24.

This increase can be attributed to the types of scams aimed at older adults. According to the report, older people are more likely to be targeted by travel schemes, home improvement cons, romance scams, and investment fraud. Scammers target older adults because they are perceived as easier to persuade and generally have access to greater financial resources. Retired people are more likely to be at home to answer the door or telephone.

In addition, research conducted by the BBB Institute, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, and the Stanford Center on Longevity found another reason why older adults may fall victim to scams: loneliness made people more likely to engage with and lose money to scammers. This was especially true when the person felt he or she lacked companionship and was isolated from loved ones. Single, divorced, and widowed people were also at higher risk, since many felt they didn’t have a companion to discuss their experiences and doubts with.

Common Scams and Tips to Spot Them

BBB recommends the following precautions to avoid becoming a victim:

Watch out for phone fraud. The Federal Trade Commission reports that fraudulent telemarketers often direct their calls at older adults. Scammers claim to be calling in an official capacity as a government agent or bank employee. They may sound friendly and courteous or aggressive and threatening. They may even have a caller ID to match their claims.

However, caller IDs can be easily spoofed and government agencies DON’T make unsolicited calls. It is vital to cultivate a healthy distrust for unsolicited callers and avoid sharing personal information. Never feel pressured to act. When in doubt, hang up the phone and call the official source to verify unexpected or unusual claims. You can also reduce the number of unsolicited calls you receive by registering your phone number with the National Do-Not-Call registry at 1-888-382-1222 or Donotcall.gov.

Know the red flags. Most scammers use common tactics to get your money or personal information. Keep an eye out for the following too-good-to-be-true claims:

 • “Free,” “low cost,” or “buy one, get one” deal

 • Request for unusual payment types (i.e. prepaid debit cards or wired funds)

 • Claims that you only pay postage or administrative fees

 • Pressure to act now and/or aggressive tones

 • Deals that must be secured with a credit card or bank account information

 • Sure-fire investment opportunities

 • Charities that send 100% of your donation directly to the victims

Only hire trustworthy, licensed contractors. Older adults often need extra help around the house and may hire someone to complete a renovation project and landscape work. However, never hire someone who just shows up at your door and don’t let them in or around your home for “inspections. Instead, if you need repair work, use BBB.org to search for accredited businesses and ask friends and family for recommendations. Then, research the companies, keeping a close eye on past reviews or complaints. Always make sure the contractor or company is properly licensed and never pay in full up front. Read BBB's

Tips on Hiring a Contractor

Strange phone call? Might be an emergency scam: Older adults can be susceptible to emergency scams and other ploys because they aren’t familiar with the information about themselves and their family available online. This trick begins with a phone call from someone posing as your grandchild, niece or nephew, or other young family member. Scammers research victims using social media and often know family names, travel plans, and other details. The phony grandchild will claim to be out of town and in an emergency situation – anything from a car accident to wrongful arrest. The scam artist will urge you to send money ASAP and to not tell Mom or Dad. Read more about emergency scams.

Watch out for Medicare fraud: Here is one scam that’s aimed right at older Americans: free medical equipment. Medicare fraud has cost the American public more than $60 billion, and a large part of that is fraud around “durable medical equipment,” such as knee braces or walkers. By making repeated calls, scammers badger Medicare recipients into taking “free” medical equipment. Then, they bill Medicare for it. By law, no one is allowed to make unsolicited calls to consumers about durable medical equipment. If you get such a call, just hang up.

Do your research before making an investment: Investment cons often target older adults because of their greater financial resources. They frequently prey on longstanding group connections – such as through a religious organization or an ethnic group – where members trust each other. Even if you are a savvy investor, you can still fall victim to this scam. Con artists are masters of persuasion, and they often learn the weaknesses of their targets and tailor their pitches accordingly. Read more about investment cons.

Think before you click. Older adult may be less comfortable with technology making them more vulnerable to phishing schemes and hacking. Links found in unsolicited emails or messages on social media can be especially dangerous. They may look like they lead to an official website, but they will download malware onto your computer that gives scammers access to your sensitive information. Protect yourself by only clicking on links that come from people you know and trust and by keeping your antivirus software up to date.

Be on guard for “sweetheart” swindles. Older adults who are widowed or divorced are frequent targets of romance scams. If you meet someone online who shows romantic interest in you, don’t be too quick to trust them. These scams can often take months to develop to the point where money changes hands. Con artists create compelling backstories, and full-fledged identities, then trick you into falling for someone who doesn’t even exist. A common romance scam involves charming the victim and then asking for money for medical expenses, family concerns, or other reasons that pull at the heartstrings. Once the con artist receives the funds, they disappear for good. Read more about romance scams.

Reach out to someone you trust. Scammers want victims to feel isolated. Don’t hesitate to contact a friend, family member, or organization you trust for advice. A second opinion can greatly reduce your risk.

Take time to research your purchases. Scammers often make unsolicited offers to older adults for medical supplies, anti-aging products, and vitamins and supplements. They might contact you over the phone, as a door-to-door salesperson, or via online messages. They make incredible offers with the goal of getting their hands on your personal information or money. Before you agree to purchase the next miracle product that comes your way, take a few minutes to research the company to make sure their products and offers are legitimate. Read about free trial offer scams.

Guard your personal information carefully. Never share your personal information with a stranger on the phone, in an email, on a social media network, or otherwise. Keep careful records of your transactions by reviewing your bank and credit card statements regularly. Check them for accuracy and then shred any documents that include personal information before throwing them away.

Read more at Better Business Bureau

Source: https://www.bbb.org


Newspaper financial section

First Solar Agrees to Settle 2012 Class Action Shareholder Lawsuit

Suit stemmed from defective solar panels which caused hundreds of millions of dollars in warranty claims

Warranty Informer

Kyros Law of Hingham, Massachusetts is is filing potential claims on behalf of shareholders of First Solar Inc (NASDAQ: FSLR) , stemming from a recent settlement of a shareholder lawsuit against the company.

First Solar finally agreed to pay out $350 million to settle the claims of a class action lawsuit from 2012. The company decided to settle the claims in a bid to avoid going to court and dragging the case further.

Even as the Arizona-based solar manufacturer decided to settle the claims, it still did not accept liability. The company was sued for misleading shareholders on the degree of financial damages caused by manufacturing hiccups.

Before the suit, the solar manufacturer announced the discovery of a defect that affected about four percent of all solar panels they produced between June 2008 and June 2009. After the announcement, the company made a promise to replace the defective panels. The cost of replacing these panels went into tens of millions, as the company recorded in its books.

After the company replaced the panels, the cost of warranty-related expenses shot up to $164 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. This affected the share price, which went down by 11 percent. The drop in share prices continued going down up to almost 90 percent by winter 2012. The 2012 class action suit by shareholders allege that First Solar did not provide a clear breakdown of warranty-related expenses. The suit came at a time that many solar manufacturers around the world declared bankruptcy and closed shop.

First Solar did not accept liability and disputed the case which was to go to court on Jan 2020. By agreeing to settle the claims, First Solar was able to avoid the negative publicity that comes with going to court. However, the settlement is not an admission of liability. The share price continues to go down, and by the start of the year, the shares stood at $55.80.

According to First Solar’s CEO, Mark Widmar, ending the class action suit was a way to focus on revitalizing the company. However, Mark declined to answer how the company plans to cover the cost of the settlement, or how it might affect its business in 2020 and beyond.

In 2019, the company saw its worst year. In the first and second quarters of the year, the company suffered increased operation costs and so many other costs that affected the bottom line. In the second quarter, the company improved its production and shipping. In the third quarter, the company announced plans to move to the EPC partner model before releasing its profit for the first quarter of 2019.

Even after settling the lawsuit, the company still noted they have other pending lawsuits. One of the lawsuits concerns “false and misleading information” on manufacturing issues and incorrect financial filings. With the settlement, the pending lawsuits, and the challenges the company is facing, shareholders still do not know the future of the company.

Read more at Kyros Law

Source: https://classactionlawsuitcenter.com


Modern olive home

Total Home Protection Sued by Pennsylvania Attorney General

Home warranty company accused of scamming PA residents with deceptive service contracts

Warranty Informer

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has filed a lawsuit against a company he believes is deceptively selling service contracts to Pennsylvania senior citizens and other residents. The suit was filed against THS Group LLC, d/b/a Total Home Protection and its owners, father and son team of Ronald Seruya and David Seruya.

According to Shapiro, 80 consumers have filed complaints with the Office of Attorney General about Total Home Protection, and more than 680 consumers have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau.

Deceptive Warranty Marketing

With Total Home Protection, the defendants are alleged to have advertised and sold home warranty service contracts to many elderly or otherwise vulnerable customers in Pennsylvania and dozens of other states by:

 • Falsely advertising coverage and services,

 • Using creative and deceptive means to wrongfully deny covered claims,

 • Failing to respond to consumer claims and inquiries, and

 • Refusing to reimburse or refund consumers in accordance with the terms of their written guarantees.

"We believe Total Home Protection duped seniors and hundreds of other consumers from Pennsylvania and across the United States through misrepresentation and then by refusing to repair or place home mechanical systems and appliances, as promised, when they requested protection," said AG Shapiro, who also thanked the Better Business Bureau for sharing additional consumer complaints with his Office. "We are seeking full restitution for consumers, civil penalties, and to stop this family from totally scamming consumers."

The lawsuit claims THS and its officers profited from their misconduct while consumers were left to pay hundreds and thousands of dollars themselves to replace or repair items that should have been covered under the company’s service contracts.

The suit also claims that THS used stock photos and false reviews on its website.

Family Ties

The Attorney General sued David Seruya’s brother, Charles in the case against Delta Auto Protect in February 2020. Charles Seruya is the managing member of Omega Vehicle Services LLC, which runs Delta Auto Protect.

Shapiro says that the lawsuit against Delta Auto Protect alleges the company advertises and sells vehicle service and repair contracts to thousands of consumers in multiple states from a virtual office in Exton, PA, but refuses to honor the contracts it sells and, after accepting payment from consumers, refuses to cover the necessary repairs promised under contract.

Restitution

AG Shapiro seeks full restitution for consumers who suffered losses as well $1000 per violation of the Consumer Protection law and $3000 per violation in cases where the consumer is age 60 or over. The suit also seeks to bar the defendants from doing business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or with any of its residents, as well as investigative costs and fees.

A copy of the 161 page filing can be viewed here.

Read more at Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro

Source: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov


android smartphone

Coalition of 52 Attorneys General Send Letter Demanding Expanded Illegal Robocall Response

Illegal robocalls are a favorite marketing tactic for extended auto warranty and home warranty sales

Warranty Informer

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent a letter calling on USTelecom, the leading organization representing telecommunications providers, and its Industry Traceback Group (ITG) to continue its collaboration with state attorneys general by bolstering technological capabilities to improve enforcement against illegal robocallers.

The bipartisan coalition of 52 state and territory attorneys general is urging the association to further develop robocall traceback and other tools suited to law enforcement needs.

Illegal robocalls are a favorite marketing avenue for sellers of extended car warranties and home warranties due to the low cost of reaching consumers. Many scam extended warranty sellers have been sued for robodialing dating back to the mid 2000s, and the TCPA lawsuits continue through to today.

According to the YouMail Robocall Index, 136 million extended warranty scam robocalls were made in April 2020 alone.

The letter asks USTelecom to advance the ITG's abilities in identifying robocall campaigns, trends, and business ecosystems; conducting automated traceback investigations; and coordinating with relevant law enforcement agencies.

"Given the exponential growth of illegal robocalls targeting the American public," the letter says, "the state attorneys general plan to continue intensifying our enforcement efforts against illegal robocallers and other related bad actors. As a result, we expect a growing need for data analyses and pattern recognition to better understand changing trends and the overall problem both in individual states and nationwide. Additionally, we contemplate increases in our issuances of subpoenas or civil investigative demands directly to the ITG for tracebacks."

A key part of that action would be for USTelecom to develop and roll out an online platform to collect live data from carriers and robocall-blocking apps. When USTelecom or a law enforcement agency detects an illegal robocall campaign, the law enforcement agency would then be able to submit a subpoena to USTelecom in a streamlined online portal.

The process would allow for rapid review by USTelecom and provide law enforcement agencies the ability to expedite subpoena procedures and access the platform to quickly retrieve relevant data. The platform would bolster law enforcement investigations and could potentially lead to attorney general offices issuing temporary restraining orders that could stop a live robocall campaign in its tracks.

The coalition's letter follows a January 2020 meeting in Washington, D.C., with representatives from state attorney general offices, federal agencies, and the telecom industry. Some priorities developed at that meeting include:

 • Automating and increasing the total volume of traceback investigations;

 • Alerting relevant law enforcement agencies of suspected illegal robocall campaigns;

 • Enabling law enforcement agencies to electronically upload and receive responses to subpoenas and civil investigative demands, and providing swift response to those requests; and

 • Identifying noncooperative Voice Service Providers, including those that don't participate in the traceback process, repeatedly originate or accept illegal robocalls, or repeatedly fail to provide sufficient records.

The coalition believes these measures would strengthen the partnership between the USTelecom-backed ITG and attorneys general, a relationship that led to the creation of the Anti-Robocall Principles. Those principles were established in August 2019 when 51 attorneys general and 12 major telecom providers took aim at reducing the number of unwanted and illegal robocalls reaching the American people.

More recently-and due in part to the support from the telecommunications industry and state attorneys general-the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act was signed into law by the federal government. This law enables the industry to develop call-authentication protocols to combat caller-ID spoofing and implement other sweeping anti-robocall measures.

A copy of the letter signed by the 52 Attorneys General can be found here.

Read more at National Association of Attorneys General

Source: https://www.naag.org


Black and white phone

Class Action Lawsuit Against Matrix and Car Protection USA Transferred to Northern District of Texas

Extended warranty robocall suit originally filed in Northern District of Georgia

Warranty Informer

A class action lawsuit filed against Matrix Warranty Solutions, Inc. and Car Protection USA was moved from the US District Court Northern District of Georgia to the Northern District of Texas on Thursday, April 30th at the request of the defendants. Car Protection USA, doing business as Clear Path, John Davis, and Matrix Warranty Solutions, Inc. doing business as Element Protection filed a joint motion for the transfer.

The suit accuses Matrix of commissioning automated and pre-recorded telemarketing calls to the Plaintiff and other members of the class in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Known as TCPA, the law was enacted in 1991 as a response at the time to consumer outrage against telemarketers.

Foote v. Car Protection USA et al was originally filed on September 29, 2019, with an amended complaint filed on December 3, 2019.

Lead Plaintiff Paula Foote alleges she was called by Clear Path on August 16, 2019, and when she answered she was greeted by a pre-recorded message advertising warranty services by Clear Path. At some point, she spoke with a live representative who offered to sell her an Element Warranty protection plan.

The Plaintiff claims that she had not consented to receiving calls from the Defendants.

According to the complaint, "Matrix knew (or reasonably should have known) that Clear Path was violating the TCPA on its behalf and failed to take effective steps within its power to force the telemarketer to cease that conduct."

Although Ms. Foote was not called directly by Matrix Warranty Solutions, the filing claims that Matrix cannot avoid liability by outsourcing telemarketing to third parties.

Per the FCC, "allowing the seller to avoid potential liability by outsourcing its telemarketing activities to unsupervised third parties would leave consumers in many cases without an effective remedy for telemarketing intrusions. This would particularly be so if the telemarketers were judgment proof, unidentifiable, or located outside the United States, as is often the case. Even where third-party telemarketers are identifiable, solvent, and amenable to judgment limiting liability to the telemarketer that physically places the call would make enforcement in many cases substantially more expensive and less efficient, since consumers (or law enforcement agencies) would be required to sue each marketer separately in order to obtain effective relief. As the FTC noted, because '[s]ellers may have thousands of 'independent' marketers, suing one or a few of them is unlikely to make a substantive difference for consumer privacy.'"

According to the YouMail Robocall Index, nearly 136 million scam extended warranty robocalls were made in April 2020, with a total of 2.9 billion robocalls for the month.

The suit seeks to bar the Defendants from "calling telephone numbers using an automated telephone dialing system or pre-recorded voice," as well as up to $1500 for each call received by a member of the class.

A copy of the amended complaint can be viewed here

Read more at PacerMonitor

Source: https://www.pacermonitor.com


White and red brick tudor house

Settlement Reached in Class Action Lawsuit Involving Trane and American Standard Air Conditioners

Extended warranties and enhanced warranties offered to certain customers

Warranty Informer

A settlement has been reached on behalf of nearly 500,000 current and former owners of Trane and American Standard air conditioners manufactured with an unapproved rust inhibitor that caused many units to fail. The plaintiffs in the class action suit were represented by James C. Shah of Shepherd Finkleman Miller & Shah, LLP and Timothy N. Mathews, Esq. and Zachary P. Beatty, Esq. of Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith, LLP.

Lawsuit allegations

The lawsuit alleges that in certain air conditioners and heat pumps manufactured by the defendants, sticky deposits would form on the thermostatic expansion valve (TXV). When the air conditioners failed due to this problem, Trane instructed service personal to inject an acidic additive into the TXV rather than replace the valve, potentially threatening the compressor’s long-term reliability.

Manufacturer denies wrongdoing

Trane denies any wrongdoing, and the Court did not decide in favor of either Trane or the plaintiffs. Both sides, however, agreed to the settlement and consumers affected have the opportunity to obtain compensation. The settlement provides substantial relief for the class members, including reimbursement of past repair expenses, an approved additive that can help prevent future problems with the air conditioner (and a labor allowance to inject the additive), and an extended and enhanced warranty for certain units.

Who is included in the Settlement?

All current and former owners of Trane or American Standard 1.5- to 5-ton air conditioners and heat pumps with serial numbers listed on Exhibit I to the Settlement who live in the United States are included in this Settlement.

Most of the affected units were manufactured from November 2013 through September 2014, with some manufactured as late as 2017. The manufacture date and serial number are listed on the data plate on the outdoor unit of your air conditioner or heat pump. A list of serial numbers included in the Settlement is available at www.AirConditionerSettlement.com or by calling 800-528-7199.

The following benefits are available in the settlement:

 1. Cash reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs that you incurred for certain repairs. Max. of $575 for a valve replacement and $250 for an Additive injection (total of $825 for both, if applicable).

 2. A free "light" Additive, which has been shown to be effective at preventing deposits without causing risk to the compressor, and up to $50 for a qualified person to inject it.

 3. Extended and enhanced Compressor Warranty Coverage if your air conditioner or heat pump was injected with a full-strength Additive on or before September 30, 2018.

The deadline for affected consumers to either file a claim or exclude themselves from the class is September 25, 2020. To ascertain whether or not your air conditioner is included in the class and to obtain instructions on filing a claim, visit www.airconditionersettlement.com.

A copy of the complaint can be found here.

A copy of the settlement can be found here.

Read more at Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP

Source: https://www.sfmslaw.com


Side mirror of car with road

Autotrader announces top Certified Pre-Owned Programs in 2020 for Luxury and Non-Luxury Brands

Manufacturer-backed extended warranty programs from Lexus and Hyundai named best for 2020

Autotrader

A certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle offers some of the advantages of both new and used cars. CPO is a pre-owned car, meaning a lower price for shoppers, and the car is also certified, which means it's gone through a thorough inspection and comes with a manufacturer's warranty and often a few other perks. Nearly every carmaker offers a CPO program, making it difficult to know which CPO programs are the best. To save a little time and energy during the car shopping process, the editors at Autotrader evaluated all of the available certified offerings on the market and picked the best CPO programs for 2020 in both the non-luxury and luxury categories.

"Today, car shoppers are really focused on value and affordability. For those who have decided a new car is too expensive but are unsure of the long-term prospect of buying a used car, certified pre-owned vehicles are an excellent alternative," said Brian Moody, executive editor of Autotrader. "We selected Hyundai and Lexus CPO programs due to their outstanding model availability, incentives offered, long powertrain warranty, good bumper-to-bumper coverage and a few other ownership perks. The bottom line is that both Lexus and Hyundai offer the kind of program and the kind of cars you can count on for many years to come."

Best Luxury Certified Pre-Owned Program for 2020 – Lexus L/Certified

Autotrader selected the Lexus CPO program as the best among luxury carmakers. Among luxury brands, L/Certified checks nearly all the boxes of what a CPO program should offer. To the remaining balance of the original 4-year or 50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper new-car warranty (which includes powertrain coverage), the CPO warranty adds 2 years and unlimited mileage. That works out to a total of six years with unlimited mileage. Its unlimited mileage puts L/Certified over the top in our voting. Other programs have unlimited mileage but the time cap is usually around 2 years. In this case, Lexus knows they have a quality product and stand behind it with unlimited mileage AND a long warranty period. Unlimited mileage is a real advantage, particularly for anyone who does a lot of driving. Lexus doesn't require a deductible for covered repairs and provides a complimentary loaner car during those repairs estimated to take more than eight hours.

Best Non-Luxury Certified Pre-Owned Program for 2020 – Hyundai

Hyundai continues to standout as the top pick for the non-luxury CPO program. Hyundai's CPO program advantage is built upon its 10-year/100,000 mile new-vehicle powertrain warranty. Hyundai's CPO program reinstates the full term of the original powertrain warranty. Hybrid and electric CPO cars also qualify for a 10-year or 100,000-mile battery warranty. Whatever remains of the original 5-year or 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited new-car warranty also transfers to the CPO vehicle. Other CPO benefits include full transferability if you sell your CPO car to a private buyer, a $35 per day rental-car allowance during covered repairs, complimentary 24/7 roadside assistance and trip-interruption benefits when covered repairs are required more than 150 miles from home.

CPO vehicles come with manufacturer-backed warranties and additional extras, such as roadside assistance and free trial subscriptions to satellite radio, over a typical used car. All CPO cars undergo extensive, manufacturer-required, multi-point inspections and repairs, as needed, to restore all functions back to factory settings. This gives the buyer peace of mind that they are buying the best the brand has to offer when it comes to a pre-owned vehicle. The CPOs will have extended warranties that provide protection for additional years, and in many cases unlimited mileage, during the time the second buyer has the car.

The 2020 Best Non-Luxury and Best Luxury CPO Programs were identified based on a series of factors, including powertrain warranty length (with a minimum of six years or 100,000 miles of coverage from the original sale date), available inventory, bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage and transferability to future vehicle owners, special financing terms, highest volume and broadest possible spectrum of CPO vehicle types and price ranges currently listed for sale, and ease of understanding warranty overall.

To learn more about the Best Non-Luxury and Best Luxury Certified Pre-Owned Programs from Autotrader's expert editors, including full coverage and available inventory, visit https://www.autotrader.com/car-shopping/best-cpo-programs-of-2020. For more information on the Hyundai Best Non-Luxury CPO program, visit https://www.autotrader.com/car-news/hyundai-cpo-program-tops-among-mainstream-automakers-for-2020. Find more information on the Lexus L/Certified Best Luxury CPO program, visit https://www.autotrader.com/car-news/lexus-cpo-program-tops-among-luxury-automakers-for-2020.

Read more at Autotrader

Source: http://press.autotrader.com


Gavel with black background

Judge Schedules Initial Conference in TCPA Suit Against Allied Vehicle Protection

Extended warranty seller one of several named defendents in robocall lawsuit

Warranty Informer

UPDATE: On May 5, 2020, Peggy Kuo, United States Magistrate Judge in United States District Court, Eastern District of New York scheduled an initial conference for all parties involved in Kopelevich v. Desilva Automotive Services, LLC et al, case number 1:20-cv-01987.

Plaintiff Mikhail Kopelevich accuses the defendants of multiple TCPA violations in the complaint filed on April 30th.

An initial conference is one of the first steps of the discovery process in a civil case.

A copy of our original post from May 1 is below.

On Thursday, a New York resident filed a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of New York against Desilva Automotive Services, LLC, which does business under the name Allied Vehicle Protection, its owner, and other parties who do business with the firm.

Mikhail Kopelevich of Brooklyn, New York accuses Allied Vehicle Protection of numerous unsolicited telemarketing calls in an attempt to sell him an extended car warranty using spoofed numbers between October of 2019 to April of 2020.

According to the FCC, spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. "Scammers often use neighbor spoofing so it appears that an incoming call is coming from a local number, or spoof a number from a company or a government agency that you may already know and trust," the FCC says.

The plaintiff alleges the calls were made using automated dialing equipment and contained a pre-recorded message on behalf of Allied and the defendants. Per the complaint, the defendants did not have the required consent from Kopelevich for the robocalls as outlined in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.

"Express Written Consent"

The TCPA requires "prior express written consent" from consumers for autodialed or pre-recorded telemarketing robocalls to home and mobile phones.

Robodialers and other scam telemarketers are often very careful not to release details of who the the robocalls are from in an effort to avoid fines and lawsuits, usually waiting until the customer has made a purchase before identifying themselves. Kopelevich purchased an extended warranty on March 6th, and received subsequent materials in the mail which is presumably how he identified Desilva Automotive Services and the other defendants.

The suit also alleges that the Desilva lacked an internal "do not call" policy, which is also a violation of TCPA.

The other named defendants in the complaint are:

 • Vajira Samararatne, Desilva Automotive Service officer and shareholder,

 • Palmer Administrative Services, Inc.

 • Michael Shaftel, corporate officer and shareholder of Palmer Administrative Services, Inc.

 • Atlantic Specialty Insurance Company

 • OneBeacon Insurance Group, Ltd.

 • PayLink Payment Plans, LLC, doing business as PayLink Direct

The suit claims that corporate officers involved in robodialing may be held personally liable under the TCPA.

Requested Damages

Kopelevich is seeking between $500 and $1500 per call as allowed under TCPA plus an additional $3000 in statutory damages per call for 30 total calls. The suit also seeks interest, costs, and attorneys' fees from the defendants as well as an injunction from the court barring them from robodialing.

A copy of the lawsuit can be found here.

Read more at PacerMonitor

Source: https://www.pacermonitor.com


Newspaper financial section

Canadian Holding Company iA Financial Completes Purchase of Austin Based IAS

Firm paid $720 million for one of the largest independent providers of vehicle warranty solutions

Warranty Informer

iA Financial Corporation Inc. (TSX: IAG), the holding company of iA Financial Group, announces that it has concluded the acquisition of the American company IAS Parent Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries. The agreement to acquire IAS was announced December 4, 2019.

Based in Austin, Texas, IAS is one of the largest independent providers of solutions in the U.S. vehicle warranty market with over 35 years of history. IAS provides a comprehensive portfolio of vehicle warranties and related software and services sold through one of the industry’s broadest and most diverse distribution networks consisting of over 4,300 dealers in all fifty states.

“We are pleased to announce the completion of the acquisition of IAS and to welcome its high-quality management team within iA Financial Group,” said Denis Ricard, President and Chief Executive Officer of iA Financial Group. “By combining the complementary strengths of IAS and of our existing warranty business in the U.S., we will be well positioned for the growth opportunities that may arise in this highly fragmented market.”

“I am proud of our entire team and their hard work and growth over the last few years,” added Patrick Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer of IAS. “With the strength and resources of iA, we look forward to continuing to grow and providing the best products and services in the industry to our long-standing partners and customers. We’re excited for the opportunities that lie ahead as a part of the iA family and can’t wait to get to work.”

The purchase price of $720 million, for which a currency hedge was put in place, has been funded by iA Financial Group’s excess capital. Following closing of the acquisition and of iA Investment Counsel’s sale which is expected to close during the second quarter of 2020, iA Financial Group will maintain a sound capital position with a pro forma solvency ratio as at March 31, 2020 of 121%, above its target range of 110 to 116%.

Read more at iA Financial Group

Source: https://ia.ca


White Volkswagen Jetta

Colonnade Advisors Releases Whitepaper Covering Extended Warranty Claims Sector

Chicago-based firm is a leader in automotive related mergers and acquisition space

Warranty Informer

Colonnade Advisors recently released a report addressing the of the auto inspection and warranty claims management sector. Colonnade is a market leader in the Automotive F&I mergers and acquisition, recently assisting in the sale of Smart AutoCare to Tiptree, Inc.

The whitepaper addresses the post-pandemic demand for auto inspection and warranty claims management services. Although new auto sales in 2020 are predicted to decline by more than 25%, "as the economy gets back to work," the report says, "the frequency of motor vehicle accidents will rise, and mechanical breakdowns will return to pre-crisis levels."

According to the report, the auto inspection and warranty claims management industry has four main components:

 • Accident investigation

 • Warranty inspection and management

 • Pre-purchase vehicle inspection

 • Floorplan audit

Customers of the industry include:

 • Insurance companies

 • Lenders

 • F&I product administrators

 • Dealerships

 • Auction houses

 • Private auto buyers and sellers

"The auto inspection and warranty claims management industry has favorable dynamics, including the trend toward outsourcing, the increasing severity and cost of accidents and warranty claims, the expansion of the vehicle service contract market, and the increase in sales of private and certified pre-owned vehicles. Companies in this sector generally have high levels of recurring revenue or multi-year contracts. Technology is playing an important role in transforming what was once a cottage industry of local and regional inspectors into a national opportunity of scale.

"The auto inspection and warranty claims management sector presents an intriguing opportunity for investors interested in the automotive sector without bearing the weight of the typical macroeconomic trends that impact the new vehicle industry. Numerous companies of size exist, but few acquisitions have occurred in this sector to date. We expect significant M&A activity over the next several years."

Click here for a copy of Colonnade's report, or go to https://coladv.com/ for additional information.

Read more at Colonnade Advisors

Source: https://coladv.com


Money spilling from jar

AmTrust Financial Services Announces Quarterly Cash Dividends

Insurance holding company underwrites extended warranties and vehicle service contracts

Warranty Informer

AmTrust Financial Services,Inc.(“AmTrust”or the “Company”)today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a cash dividend per share on the following series of non-cumulative preferred stock.

The cash dividend are as follows:

 Series Rate Dividend

  A  6.750%  $0.421875

  B  7.250%  $0.453125

  C  7.625%  $0.476563

  D  7.500%  $0.468750

  E  7.750%  $0.484375

  F  6.950%  $0.434375

The preferred dividends will be payable June 15, 2020 to stockholders of record on June 1, 2020.

About AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.AmTrust Financial Services, Inc., a multinational insurance holding company headquartered in New York, offers specialty property and casualty insurance products, including workers' compensation, business owner’s policy (BOP), general liability and extended service and warranty coverage. For more information about AmTrust, visit www.amtrustfinancial.com.

Read more at AmTrust Financial Services

Source: https://amtrustfinancial.com


Microsoft Surface with broken screen

Microsoft to Repair Surface 3 Cracked Screens

Hairline cracks repaired free of charge during warranty period

Warranty Informer

Following reports of Surface 3 spontaneous cracked screens on Reddit and other social media platforms, Microsoft has announced they will repair affected devices free of charge provided it is covered under warranty.

Microsoft posted the following statement on their support website regarding the fix:

"We have investigated claims of screen cracking on Surface Laptop 3 and have determined that, in a very small percentage of cases, a hard foreign particle may cause a hairline fracture in the glass that may seem to appear unexpectedly or without visible cause.

"If you believe your Surface Laptop 3 is experiencing this issue, you are encouraged to contact our Microsoft Support to initiate a repair free of charge during the warranty period of the device.

"If you have previously paid Microsoft for a Surface Laptop 3 repair that you believe experienced this issue, please contact Microsoft Support to learn about reimbursement."

Read more at Microsoft

Source: https://support.microsoft.com


blue iPhone

Apple Hit With Second iPhone XR Class Action Lawsuit

Class claims alleged defects should be covered under Apple's warranty; refusing is violation of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

Warranty Informer

Tech giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is facing a second class-action lawsuit over connectivity issues related to the iPhone XR. The new suit was filed by Ahdoot & Wolfson PC. on behalf of the class in the San Jose Division of the United Stated District Court/Northern District of California and alleges that the XR's antenna array is inferior to other iPhones and causes connectivity issues and dropped calls.

The prior XR complaint was filed by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP on April 6, 2020. The Hagens Berman suit was also filed in the San Jose District.

The lawsuit is the third class-action suit filed against Apple in a one-month period. The additional class-action suit involves Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro's "flexgate" scandal, and alleges that a design flaw causes the screen on Apple's flagship laptop to fail after repeated use. The "flexgate" suit was filed on May 6, 2020, the day after the second iPhone XR suit.

The complaint addresses the iPhone XR's 2x2 MIMO antenna array, which are inferior to the 4x4 MIMO array's found on some of Apple's prior products such as the iPhone XS and XS Max models. The suit states that Apple's customers "reasonably expected the latest Apple product to have the most advanced technology," but the 2x2 array represents a step backward.

Apple claims the iPhone XR is "free of defects."

The Plaintiffs accuse Apple of deceptive business practices. In addition, they accuse Apple of violating California's consumer protection acts, adding that "Apple has breached its express and implied warranties." The suit states "Apple breached and continues to breach express warranties because at the time of sale, the iPhone XR contained defective technology found in the 2x2 MIMO antenna arrays. This breach, the suit claims, is a violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal law that was enacted in 1975. The federal statute governs warranties on consumer products.

The suit seeks "monetary compensation for the defects with the iPhone XR’s connectivity and performance," as well as attorney's fees.

A copy of the complaint can be found here, in addition to the first XR complaint which can be opened here.

For a copy of the 15-inch MacBook Pro complaint can be viewed here.

Read more at PacerMonitor

Source: https://www.pacermonitor.com


Colorful homes

Frontdoor, Inc. Releases First Quarter 2020 Results

Parent of home warranty provider American Home Shield announces 8% increase in revenue

Warranty Informer

Frontdoor, Inc. (NASDAQ: FTDR), parent company of home warranty provider American Home Shield, announced first-quarter 2020 results.

First-quarter 2020 revenue increased eight percent over the prior year period. Renewal revenue increased 10 percent, due to improved price realization and growth in the number of renewed home service plans, driven in part by customer retention improvement initiatives. First-year real estate revenue increased two percent, reflecting improved price realization, offset, in part, by a decline in the number of first-year real estate home service plans. First-year direct-to-consumer revenue increased seven percent, reflecting growth in the number of first-year direct-to-consumer home service plans, mostly driven by increased investments in marketing, and improved price realization.

First-quarter 2020 net income was $13 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.15, relatively unchanged from prior year. First-quarter 2020 net income included an $18 million favorable impact from higher revenue conversion(3) that was mostly offset by a $16 million increase in selling and administrative expenses.

For the three months ended March 31, 2020, net cash provided from operating activities was $60 million, an increase of $8 million from the prior year period. Working capital was a $35 million source of cash for the three months ended March 31, 2020, compared to a $29 million source of cash for the prior year period.

Second-Quarter 2020 Outlook

 • Revenue is anticipated to range from $410 million to $420 million, compared to $388 million in the prior year period.

 • Adjusted EBITDA(2) is anticipated to range from $95 million to $105 million, compared to $105 million in the prior year period.

Full-Year 2020 Outlook

 • The Company has withdrawn its full-year outlook at this time due to the uncertainty around the COVID-19 impact on the business. The Company plans to re-evaluate providing its full-year outlook after the second quarter.

Read more at Frontdoor, Inc.

Source: https://investors.frontdoorhome.com


Money

Feds Indict Honor Finance LLC Officers for Misappropriating $5.3 Million

Diverted extended warranty commission payments part of fraud scheme at illinois-based subprime auto lender

Warranty Informer

Two top officers of a north suburban subprime auto lending company have been indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly misappropriating at least $5.3 million in company funds.

James Collins was the Chief Executive Officer of Evanston-based Honor Finance LLC, and Robert DiMeo was its Chief Operating Officer. From 2011 to 2018, Collins and DiMeo schemed with an accountant, Michael Walsh to divert money owed to Honor Finance to an outside entity the trio created and controlled, according to an indictment returned Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The defendants used the outside entity, Skokie-based LHS Solutions Ltd., to purchase GPS devices and then resell them to Honor Finance at a significant markup, the indictment alleges. Honor Finance required that GPS devices be installed in certain vehicles purchased with loans it financed, so that the vehicles could be located and repossessed if the borrowers defaulted.

The indictment alleges that the defendants fraudulently misappropriated approximately $5.3 million from Honor Finance. The trio transferred some of the misappropriated funds to themselves and their family members, the indictment states. They also used some of the fraud proceeds to pay for a down payment on a lake house in Dowagiac, Michigan, according to the indictment.

The indictment charges Collins, 50, of Evanston, DiMeo, 49, of Park Ridge, and Walsh, 62, of Evanston, with ten counts each of mail fraud. Arraignments via videoconference are set for May 20, 2020, at 10:00 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Getter.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Each count of mail fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

A copy of the indictment can be viewed here.

Read more at Department of Justice

Source: https://www.justice.gov


purple phone

FCC to Robocallers: No More Warnings Before Issuing Fines and Penalties

Chairman Pai's crackdown targets lucrative sales channel for extended warranty scammers

Warranty Informer

On May 1, The Federal Communications Commission issued an order that will end the practice of warning most robocallers before issuing penalties for violating the law and for harassing consumers with unwanted robocalls. Such warnings were previously required by law until the TRACED Act was enacted in December 2019.

Under the prior statutory requirement, the Commission had to issue robocallers that did not otherwise fall within its jurisdiction warnings—formally called citations—related to their alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (by, for example, robocalling cell phones without prior consumer consent) before the agency was able to move forward with an enforcement action. In addition, prior to the TRACED Act, any fine the Commission proposed for TCPA violations by robocallers could be based on violations that occurred only after the warning had been issued. While caller ID spoofing violations—namely, the use of spoofing to scam consumers—did not require warnings, the act of illegal robocalling by these scammers did.

“Robocall scam operators don’t need a warning these days to know what they are doing is illegal, and this FCC has long disliked the statutory requirement to grant them mulligans,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “We have taken unprecedented action against spoofing violations in recent years and removing this outdated ‘warning’ requirement will help us speed up enforcement to protect consumers. With strong enforcement and policy changes like mandating STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication and authorizing robocall blocking, we are making real progress in our fight against fraudsters.”

In addition, today’s FCC action extends the statute of limitations during which robocallers can be fined for TCPA and for spoofing violations. Until now, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau had either one or two years, respectively, from the day a violation took place to propose a fine, and only the violations that took place within that timeframe could be included when calculating the proposed forfeiture. With today’s change, the Commission has four years to propose a fine for spoofing and intentional robocall violations. The Order also increases the maximum fines for intentional robocall violations.

Under Chairman Pai, the FCC has taken unprecedented enforcement actions against spoofed robocallers under the Truth in Caller ID Act. These included a $120 million fine against a Florida-based time-share marketing operation, an $82 million fine against a North Carolina-based health insurance telemarketer, and a $37.5 million proposed fine of an Arizona marketer—all three of which were also issued citations for TCPA violations. The Enforcement Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission also recently pushed gateway providers to stop their suspected facilitation of COVID-19-related scam robocalls. Within 24 hours, those gateway providers stopped carrying those scam robocalls.

A copy of the FCC's order can be found here.

Read more at Federal Communications Commission

Source: https://www.fcc.gov


Subaru outback

Federal Trade Commission Offers Advice on Extended Warranty Scams

FTC warns consumers to do their research before purchasing a vehicle service contract

Warranty Informer

Auto service contracts are sold by vehicle manufacturers, auto dealers, and independent providers. If you’re considering a service contract, shop around so you understand exactly what you’re buying.

Beware of Auto Warranty Scams

Be skeptical of mail and phone calls warning that the warranty on your car is about to expire. The companies behind the letters and calls may give the impression they represent your car dealer or manufacturer. With phrases like Motor Vehicle Notification, Final Warranty Notice or Notice of Interruption, they are trying to make the offer seem urgent — and to get you to call a toll-free number for more information. Investigate before you buy.

More than likely, these pitches are from unrelated businesses that want to sell you extended warranties — more accurately known as service contracts — that often sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars. If you respond to a call from a business pitching so-called extended warranties, you’re likely to hear high-pressure sales tactics, as well as demands for personal financial information and a down payment, before you get any details about the service contract. And if you buy a service contract, you may find that the company behind it won’t be in business long enough to fulfill its commitments.

Steer Clear of Auto Warranty Scams

If you get mail or phone calls about renewing your vehicle warranty, don’t take the information at face value. Your vehicle’s warranty may be far from expiring — or it may have expired already. If you have a question about your warranty, check your owner’s manual, call the dealer who sold you the car, or contact the vehicle manufacturer.

Be alert to fast talkers. Telemarketers pitching auto warranties often use high-pressure tactics to hide their true motive. Take your time. Most legitimate businesses will give you time and written information about an offer before asking you to commit to a purchase.

Never give out personal financial or other sensitive information like your bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers – even your driver’s license number or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) – unless you know who you’re dealing with. Scam artists often ask for this information during an unsolicited sales pitch, and then use it to commit other frauds against you.

Be skeptical of any unsolicited sales calls and recorded messages. If your phone number is on the National Do Not Call Registry: You shouldn't get live or recorded sales pitches unless you have specifically agreed to accept such calls, bought something from the company within the last 18 months, or asked the company for information within the last three months. Read Robocalls to learn more. To report violations of the National Do Not Call Registry or to register a phone number, visit DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.

Read more at Federal Trade Commission

Source: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov


Audi Interior

AUL Launches New Vehicle Service Contract Targeting Vehicle Technology Systems

Products designed to work in conjunction with long manufacturer's powertrain warranties

AUL Corp.

AUL Corp., one of the nation’s leading automotive finance and insurance (F&I) providers, today launched a new vehicle service contract product covering the increasingly complex technology systems found in today’s vehicles, announced Jason Garner, AUL’s Senior Vice President of Product Development. Aptly named ‘AUL-Tech’, this new vehicle service contract provides comprehensive coverage for a vehicle’s technology systems, including intelligent cruise control, lane departure warning, navigation, display screens, Bluetooth, audio systems and more. Being focused solely on technology, AUL-Tech is also affordable, providing dealers with a cost-effective policy delivering more safety and convenience to their car buyers.

Auto manufacturers provide particularly long powertrain warranties, especially so with electronic and hybrid vehicles, leaving opportunities for F&I providers such as AUL to cover items and systems that are equally costly to repair. According to Jason Garner, AUL’s SVP of Strategic Product Development, “Complex technology systems are no longer found in just the luxury makes and models. Today, you can find these systems in used vehicles across the pricing spectrum, and with AUL-Tech we’ve developed a best-of-breed solution that covers more makes and models, and older and increased mileage vehicles than any other provider.”

 • Comprehensive AUL-TECH Coverage

 • Touch/Display Screens

 • Adaptive Lighting Control System

 • Accessory Power Point Connection Systems

 • Factory Installed OEM Audio System

 • Blind Spot Detection System

 • Bluetooth System

 • DVD Player System

 • Forward, Backup, and 360˚ Camera System

 • Home Link System

 • Intelligent Cruise Control System

 • Lane Departure Warning System

 • Navigation System

 • Parking Assist System

 • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

 • Video and Gaming System

 • WiFi Data Connection System

Providing coverage for this comprehensive list of technologies, AUL-Tech can deliver benefits up to $25,000.* “With AUL-Tech, we wanted to give dealers another cost-conscious arrow for their sales quiver, while giving car buyers the peace of mind knowing the expensive technologies in their vehicle are covered,” Garner added.

AUL Tech is available for traditional vehicles up to 6 years old with less than 60,000 miles, including most makes and models in production. The new policies offer 24 to 84-month terms, with no mileage limitations and include 24/7 roadside assistance featuring towing, flat tire changes, emergency gas delivery and more. For more information, visit us at https://aulcorp.com/aul-tech.

*Cost based on national averages

About AUL Corp.

AUL Corp., founder of the used car service contract industry with the introduction of the still-famous Any Year, Any Mileage® vehicle service contract in 1990, now offers a full suite of industry leading F&I products. AUL's mission is to be the premier F&I provider in America by any quantifiable measurement of business activity. AUL enjoys a longstanding relationship with its underwriters, who hold an A.M. Best rating of "A" Excellent. AUL also enjoys the longest-term relationships in the industry with its agent and dealer clients, as verified by independent third-party research. To find out more, please visit www.aulcorp.com.

Read more at AUL Corp.

Source: https://aulcorp.com


mountain road with sunshine and blue sky

At-Home Shopping Service "Genesis Concierge" Announced By Manufacturer

Vehicles include 5 year / 60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10 year / 100,000 mile powertrain warranty

Genesis Motor America

With the launch of Genesis Concierge, Genesis Motor America takes a massive step forward in its delivery of an unparalleled, bespoke guest experience for its customers. The national “white glove” program kicks off May 11, giving customers their own personal concierge to act as a host and guide throughout the process of shopping and buying a new Genesis. The services include the option of at-home test drives and delivery at a location of their choice from participating Genesis retailers.

“A true luxury experience should exceed a customer’s unique desires and expectations,” said Mark Del Rosso, President and CEO, Genesis Motor North America. “Genesis Concierge is a tailored service that delivers a new level of personalized luxury, because we are committed to delivering an experience that satisfies our customers on their terms, not ours. As with our popular Service Valet owner amenity, utilized by 90 percent of Genesis owners, Genesis Concierge shows we have great respect for our customers’ ultimate luxury – their time”

The dedicated personal shopper will be involved in every touch point of a guest’s experience, from the initial welcome to setting up final retail vehicle delivery. The program works hand-in-glove with the brand’s digital portals. After a customer signals interest, a concierge will reach out by phone call, text, or e-mail, depending on the guest’s preference. From there, the assistant acts as a shopping guide, answering questions about brand models and packages; explaining the complimentary suite of services offered; and directly interfacing with the retailer. The retailer remains integral — the program is designed to enhance the customer/retailer relationship. However, the concierge will continue to serve as the primary contact for customer questions or concerns, and the assistant will follow up even after the vehicle is delivered.

Genesis Motor America

Genesis Motor America is headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif. Genesis is a global luxury automotive brand that delivers the highest standards of performance, design and innovation. All Genesis vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by an industry-leading warranty that includes a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty with enhanced roadside assistance and concierge services including:

 • Three years/36,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance

 • Three years/36,000 miles of complimentary Genesis Service Valet care

 • Three years of complimentary Genesis Connected Services

Read more at Genesis Motor America

Source: https://www.genesisnewsusa.com


Laptop with charts

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Apple for MacBook Pro "Flexgate" Scandal

Tech giant accused of violating the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act

Warranty Informer

PARRIS Law Firm of Lancaster, CA filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against technology giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) on behalf of class members on May 6, 2020, alleging, among other items, that the company violated the Song-Beverly Warranty Act. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California, alleges that Apple knowingly concealed a defect in their 2016 MacBook Pro display cable. Known by consumers as "Flexgate", the suit claims that a flexible cable within the display rubs internal components every time the display is opened and closes, eventually leading to failure of the display.

According to the filing, Lead Plaintiff Mahan Taleshpour purchased a new 15-inch 2016 MacBook Pro in April of 2017, and the display began to fail in January 2020. He took his MacBook Pro to an Apple Authorized Service Provider in March of 2020, but he was told that the repair was not covered under the AppleCare program and it would cost $850 to fix. The plaintiff's MacBook Pro remains unrepaired as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The complaint lists numerous examples of other consumers who have had the "Flexgate" issue, and mentions a Change.org petition requesting that "Apple launch an extended warranty program addressed to this issue as soon as possible."

The complaint says, "although the cables themselves would normally cost only a few dollars to replace, in an effort to make the display as thin as possible, Apple designed the cables as part of the display itself. Consequently, the cables cannot be individually replaced. Instead, the entire display unit needs to be replaced when the display cables tear."

Apple launched the "13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program" in May 2019 which covers certain 13-inch MacBook Pro models for up to 4 years after first retail sale date, but this program has not been extended to cover the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

The Class Action Complaint accuses Apple of:

 • Violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law

 • Fraudulent Concealment, and

 • Violation of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act

The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act of 1970, also known as the California Lemon Law, protects consumers in several ways:

 • Puts in place mechanisms to ensure that buyers of consumer goods obtain the benefit of an express warranty given with the goods.

 • Provides that every retail sale of consumer goods in California is accompanied by certain implied warranties and strictly limits how those warranties may be disclaimed.

 • Establishes for buyers of consumer goods damaged by a failure to comply with an obligation under the Song-Beverly Act or under an express or implied warranty remedies of damages, equitable relief, civil penalties, and recovery of litigation costs and expenses, including attorneys' fees.

A press release by the PARRIS Law Firm states, "According to the complaint, Apple is accused of knowingly selling and marketing a defective product it claimed was groundbreaking, of selling an extended warranty plan which at best covers only a portion of the repair costs (and more often covering none of the repairs), and creating a deeply flawed repair program that failed to fix countless damaged laptops."

The case, Mahan Taleshpour et al. v. Apple, Inc., was filed in the United States District Court Northern District of California, and is Case Number 5:20-cv-03122-VKD.

A copy of the complaint can be viewed here.

Read more at PARRIS Law Firm

Source: https://www.parris.com


Money

Assurant Closes Sale of Iké Asistencia Investment

Investment in Latin American company sold to focus on core business including extended service contracts

Assurant, Inc.

Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ), a leading global provider of lifestyle and housing solutions that support, protect and connect major consumer purchases, today announced the closing of the sale of its investment in Iké Asistencia (Iké) and certain of its affiliates. Iké is a services assistance business with operations in Mexico and other countries in Latin America.

Following its successful acquisition and integration of The Warranty Group, Assurant decided to sell its interest in Iké to focus on its core lifestyle offerings in Latin America, centered around helping consumers protect their mobile devices, cars, electronics and appliances.

About Assurant

Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ) is a leading global provider of lifestyle and housing solutions that support, protect and connect major consumer purchases. Anticipating the evolving needs of consumers, Assurant partners with the world’s leading brands to develop innovative products and services and to deliver an enhanced customer experience. A Fortune 500 company with a presence in 21 countries, Assurant offers mobile device solutions; extended service contracts; vehicle protection services; pre-funded funeral insurance; renters insurance; lender-placed insurance products; and other specialty products. The Assurant Foundation strengthens communities by supporting charitable partners that help protect where people live and can thrive, connect with local resources, inspire inclusion and prepare leaders of the future.

Read more at Assurant, Inc.

Source: https://www.assurant.com


Fast silver car on highway

AutoNation Announces Loss of $232 Million in the First Quarter of 2020

Auto retailer offers AutoNation Vehicle Protection Plan in conjunction with The Warranty Group

Warranty Informer

AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE: AN), America's largest and most recognized automotive retailer, today reported first quarter 2020 GAAP net loss from continuing operations of $232 million, or $2.58 per share, compared to net income from continuing operations of $92 million, or $1.02 per share, in the prior year period. First quarter 2020 adjusted net income from continuing operations was $82 million, or $0.91 per share, compared to adjusted net income from continuing operations of $86 million, or $0.95 per share, in the prior year period.

In the first quarter of 2020, the Company recorded non-cash goodwill, franchise rights, and other impairment charges totaling $315 million after-tax, or $3.49 per share. These non-cash charges were primarily the result of COVID-19 related impacts to the business and market valuation. First quarter 2019 net income from continuing operations included net gains from store divestitures of $6 million after-tax, or $0.07 per share. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures are included in the attached financial tables.

Operational Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic and related shelter in place orders enacted in the second half of March 2020 caused significant disruption to the Company's first quarter 2020 results. Same store first quarter 2020 revenue was $4.7 billion, a decrease of 5% compared to the same period a year ago. Same store first quarter 2020 gross profit totaled $812 million, a decrease of 3% compared to the year-ago period. Same store total variable gross profit was $423 million, a decrease of 5% compared to the year-ago period. Same store Customer Financial Services gross profit per vehicle retailed was an all-time record of $2,089, up $179 or 9% compared to the year-ago period. Same store Customer Care gross profit was $389 million, a decrease of 1 percent compared to the year-ago period.

Coronavirus Update

The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted and is expected to continue to adversely impact, AutoNation's operations. As of early April 2020, states from which we derive approximately 95% of our total revenue were under extensive "shelter in place" or "stay at home" orders from federal, state, and local governments, which significantly restricted our business operations, in particular our sales activities.

The health and safety of AutoNation's Customers and Associates is our top priority. AutoNation stores are cleaned and sanitized multiple times a day, including sanitizing high touch areas such as keyboards, telephones, and guest common areas. The company has implemented social distancing best practices within the workplace and in all Associate and Customer interactions.

In April 2020, the Company announced various actions taken to attempt to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19 including placing employees on unpaid leave, implementing temporary base pay reductions for our executive officers and associates, freezing corporate new hiring, reducing advertising spending, reducing discretionary spending, postponing capital expenditures, and reducing our Board of Directors' fees.

AutoNation experienced strengthening sales in April, with same store New and Used retail unit sales down 19% during the final 10 days compared to down 52% during the first 10 days, resulting in the full month down 37%.(1) As of May 8, 2020, states from which we derive approximately 51% of our total revenue were largely still under "shelter in place" or "stay at home" orders.

Balance Sheet and Liquidity

Under the amended and restated credit agreement, the Company has a $1.8 billion revolving credit facility that matures on March 26, 2025. As of May 8, 2020, the Company had in excess of $1.4 billion of liquidity, including over $750 million of cash and approximately $650 million of availability under our revolving credit facility. The non-cash impairment charges did not have a negative impact on any covenants within the credit facility.

Read more at AutoNation, Inc.

Source: https://investors.autonation.com


Supreme Court building

Delta Auto Protect Receives Cease and Desist Order from California Department of Insurance

Warranty seller accused of illegally selling extended warranties to California residents without a license

Warranty Informer

The California Department of Insurance (CDI) issued a Cease and Desist Order effective immediately upon Omega Vehicle Services, LLC doing business as Delta Auto Protect, and its controlling manager, Charles Seruya, for allegedly selling illegal Vehicle Service Contracts (“VSCs”) to over twenty California consumers.

The Cease and Desist Order alleges both Delta Auto Protect and Seruya were not licensed by the Department of Insurance and improperly denied claims, illegally sold contracts they did not first file with the Department directly to consumers, and used an unapproved backup insurer.

Under the Order, Delta and Seruya are to immediately stop selling VSCs in any capacity and cease acting as an insurance agent or producer or in any other capacity in the State of California for which they do not hold a valid license, permit, or Certificate of Authority.

Generally, VSCs, often called ‘extended warranties’, are offered to consumers by car dealers when they buy a car. Most typically provide coverage for repairs due to mechanical failure. Others offer coverage for routine services, such as oil changes and tire rotation, or other services such as paintless dent removal, glass or key replacement, or tire and wheel repair.

VSCs may be sold legally to Californians only when specific criteria are met, which Delta and Seruya failed to do.

 • Every VSC must be filed with CDI before it can be sold.

 • Companies responsible for paying the claims on VSCs must be licensed by CDI, unless the company is a vehicle manufacturer, distributor or dealer.

 • These companies must carry CDI-preapproved backup insurance insuring every VSC they sell, unless they receive an exemption from CDI by proving their company has a net worth of at least $100 million.

 • VSCs can only be sold through dealerships licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Direct sales to consumers are illegal.

Californians who purchased a Delta Auto Protect vehicle service contract should contact CDI Investigator Leanne Borden at (707) 751-2059.

A copy of the order can be found here.

Read more at California Department of Insurance

Source: http://www.insurance.ca.gov


android smartphone

LG Extends Expiring Warranties During Coronavirus Pandemic

Warranty extension affects LG Home Appliance, LG Home Entertainment, and LG Mobile Devices

Warranty Informer

LG announced a decision to extend the warranty 60 days on certain consumer electronics with a warranty that is expiring between April 1 and June 30, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement was made on LG's support website under the headline "Peace of Mind in Uncertain Times."

LG left open the possibility of extending warranties further depending on social distancing rules in the future.

Consumers who need extensions should call LG or contact support using the chat function on their website.

LG stated in the post, "If the original factory warranty on your eligible LG Home Appliance, LG Home Entertainment product, or LG Mobile Device is set to expire between April 1 and June 30, 2020, LG Support is here to help. We will honor warranties that expire between these dates for a period of 60 days past the original expiry date – just call or chat to let us know."

"If social distancing continues to be recommended after the stated period, the warranty may be extended further to responsibly care for our LG customers and their products."

Read more at LG USA

Source: https://www.lg.com


Upset woman dialing cell phone

Amended Compaint Filed in Matrix Financial Services Robocall Lawsuit

Cunningham amends filing in extended warranty lawsuit which includes National Car Cure and Mepco Finance

Warranty Informer

On May 4, 2020, Plaintiff Craig Cunningham filed an amended complaint in his Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit against Defendant Matrix Financial Services, LLC. The initial complaint, filed in early December 2019, alleged that Cunningham received robocalls from the plaintiffs attempting to sell him an extended car warranty. The latest filing adds additional robocall allegations to the mix.

Matrix Financial Services

According to the suit, Matrix is an extended car warranty administrator headquartered in Texas. Regulatory filings state that Matrix Financial Services, LLC is a Wyoming limited liability corporation which was incorporated in 2017. Jay Tuerk, Joel San Antonio, and Brandon San Antonio are listed as officers of the company.

Plateau Casualty Insurance Company

The lawsuit lists Plateau Casualty Insurance Company as Matrix's obligor on the service contract, and states that Plateau is a "vicariously liable party" because "Plateau Casualty was paid as a result of Defendant Matrix gaining the Plaintiff as a customer through illegal robocalls."

Additional Defendants listed in the amended complaint are:

 •  National Car Cure, an extended warranty telemarketer in West Palm Beach, FL

 •  Sing for Service d/b/a Mepco of Chicago, IL

 •  Wolf Marketing, LLC, a defunct Florida corporation

 •  Vincent Yates, and

 •  Jeremy Valentino

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, known as TCPA, the law was enacted in 1991 as a response at the time to consumer outrage against telemarketers. A provision of the TCPA is to make it unlawful "to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice … to any telephone number assigned to a … cellular telephone service."

In addition, it is a violation of the TCPA to "initiate any telephone call to any residential telephone line using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message without the prior express consent of the called party, unless the call is initiated for emergency purposes, is made solely pursuant to the collection of a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States, or is exempted by rule or order." The law also requires that telemarketers have a do-not-call policy available on demand.

Spoofed extended warranty robocalls

Altogether, Cunningham claims to have received at least 140 robocalls soliciting him for a car warranty. According to the complaint, Cunningham received multiple calls from a variety of spoofed caller ID’s that contained a pre-recorded message and were initiated using an automated telephone dialing system. The calls were on behalf of the named defendants. The calls had a delay of 3-4 seconds of dead air before the pre-recorded message began indicating the calls were initiated using an ATDS."

The Plaintiff purchased two extended warranties from Matrix, which were sold through National Car Cure, the second was purchased after the initial lawsuit was filed in December, with Sing for Service/Mepco as another party listed in the provided documentation.

Mepco Finance Corporation

Per the lawsuit, "Defendant MEPCO is a vicariously liable party as they knew that Matrix and National Car cure were engaged in illegal telemarketing based on the Plaintiff’s original complaint, served on February 20, 2020 and despite this notice, MEPCO did not sever business ties with these companies and continued to ratify the conduct by continuing to accept customers generated from Defendant Matrix and Defendant National Car Cure."

National Car Cure

The suit claims that Gus Renny, William Finneran, and National Car Cure, "directed and contracted with Wolf Marketing to place illegal telemarketing calls to the Plaintiff’s cell phones in order to generate leads and sales to National Car Cure in order to sell vehicle service contracts issued by Defendant Matrix."

When Cunningham asked National Car Cure for a copy of their do-not-call policy, it was not provided to him.

Wolf Marketing

Cunningham's amended complaint claims that Wolf Marketing, LLC was the party who actually made the illegal robocalls. Wolf Marketing "initiated the illegal calls to the Plaintiff’s phone numbers in this case in order to generate leads and sales to National Car Cure in order to sell vehicle service contracts issued by Defendant Matrix," the complaint states.

Texas Business and Commerce Code

Cunningham, in addition, claims that the defendants calls were a violation of the Texas Business and Commerce Code 305.053 by both placing automated pre-recorded calls to a cell phone, as well as spoofing the caller ID on those calls.

The suit asks for statutory damages of $3,000 for each of 30 calls claimed to be in violation of TCPA, and an additional $1,500 per call statutory damages for 47 calls the Plaintiff claims were in violation of the Texas and Business Commerce Code 305.053, as well as costs and attorney's fees.

The complaint was filed in US District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, case 4:19-cv-00896-ALM-CAN, Cunningham v. Matrix Financial Services, LLC et al.

A copy of the amended complaint can be found here.

Read more at PacerMonitor

Source: https://www.pacermonitor.com


Stock chart on computer screen

Assurant Announces Q1 2020 Financial Results

Performance unaffected by COVID-19 pandemic

Warranty Informer

Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ), a leading global provider of lifestyle and housing solutions that support, protect and connect major consumer purchases, today reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2020.

“I am exceedingly proud of the dedication and resiliency demonstrated by our more than 14,000 employees across the globe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Assurant President and CEO Alan Colberg. “Our swift response to safeguard our employees, provide continuous support to our customers and assist our local communities demonstrates our core values.”

Colberg continued, “First quarter results were solid and largely unaffected by COVID-19. And, while we believe our business and long-term fundamentals remain strong, we’ve suspended our 2020 outlook given the ongoing uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic and its impact on market conditions and consumer behavior. We will proactively monitor and manage through this unprecedented crisis to continue to deliver meaningful shareholder value over time.”

Read more at Assurant

Source: https://www.assurant.com


Hundred dollar bills

Assurant Acquires American Financial & Automotive Services, Inc.

Acquisition follows 2018 purchase of The Warranty Group

Business Wire

Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ), a leading global provider of lifestyle and housing solutions that support, protect and connect major consumer purchases, today announced it has acquired American Financial & Automotive Services, Inc. (AFAS). AFAS is a provider of auto finance and insurance products and services, including vehicle service contracts, guaranteed asset protection insurance, and other ancillary products sold directly through a network of nearly 600 franchised dealership clients across 40 states.

Assurant has been the primary provider of vehicle service contracts and related auto products and services sold by AFAS for over 20 years. AFAS CEO and founder, Arden Hetland, along with the AFAS management team, will join Assurant upon the closing of the transaction.

“Following our acquisition of The Warranty Group, our agreement to acquire AFAS further underscores our confidence in the long-term growth potential of the global automotive market,” said John Laudenslager, president of Assurant Global Automotive. “Having Arden and his team join Assurant gives us the benefit of their years of experience and expertise, which we will count on as we continue to grow the business together.”

Read more at Business Wire

Source: https://www.businesswire.com


Man screaming into phone

Nearly 136 Million Warranty Scam Robocalls Made in April 2020

A Total of 2.9 Billion Robocalls in April Marks 30% Monthly Decline, Says YouMail Robocall Index

PR Newswire

Americans received just under 2.9 billion robocalls in April, a 30% decline from March. The month of April averaged over 95 million calls per day, or roughly 1,104 calls per second, a whopping 44% decline from the 172 million robocalls per day in February. April robocalls were almost 50% lower than last October's monthly peak of 5.7 billion calls.

These latest monthly figures come from YouMail, a totally free robocall blocking app for mobile phones.

"April's massive decline in robocalls shows that COVID-19 is accomplishing what government, technology, and regulation couldn't," said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. "However, as social distancing slows down and the economies rev back up, we should expect robocalls to once again increase."

April Saw Big Decreases in Both Legal and Illegal Robocalls

April saw all categories of alerts decline significantly. The decline in Alerts and Reminders was likely due to less need for alerts and reminders about the lockdown than when they were first invoked in March. The declines in other categories likely continue to be due to the unavailability of depleted call centers to handle people who return calls or "press 1" when called.

Read more at PR Newswire

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com


Business section

CNA Financial Reports Net Loss of $61M for the First Quarter of 2020

Results for the quarter reflected financial market volatility amid the events of COVID-19.

PR Newswire

CNA Financial Corporation (NYSE: CNA) today announced a first quarter 2020 net loss of $61 million, or $(0.23) per share, and core income of $108 million, or $0.40 per share. Results for the quarter reflected financial market volatility amid the events of COVID-19. This included Net investment losses of $169 million and a decrease in Net investment income to $279 million, reflecting stable earnings from fixed income and other investments of $378 million offset by a $99 million loss from limited partnership and common stock investments during the period. Property & Casualty Operations combined ratio for the first quarter was 97.5% and the underlying combined ratio was 93.9%. The combined ratio includes charges of $15 million pretax associated with COVID-19.

The U.S. P&C segments, excluding third party captives, generated gross written premium growth of 8% and net written premium growth of 6%. Excluding third party captives, gross written premiums grew 6% and net written premiums grew 3% for P&C overall.

Our Life & Group and Corporate & Other segments produced core income (loss) for the first quarter of 2020 of $4 million and $(18) million, respectively.

CNA Financial declared a quarterly dividend of $0.37 per share, payable June 4, 2020 to stockholders of record on May 18, 2020.

Read more at PR Newswire

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com


Gavel with black background

TCPA Lawsuit Filed Against Allied Vehicle Protection and Others

New York resident accuses firm of robodialing to make extended warranty sales

Warranty Informer

On Thursday, a New York resident filed a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of New York against Desilva Automotive Services, LLC, which does business under the name Allied Vehicle Protection, its owner, and other parties who do business with the firm.

Mikhail Kopelevich of Brooklyn, New York accuses Allied Vehicle Protection of numerous unsolicited telemarketing calls in an attempt to sell him an extended car warranty using spoofed numbers between October of 2019 to April of 2020.

According to the FCC, spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. "Scammers often use neighbor spoofing so it appears that an incoming call is coming from a local number, or spoof a number from a company or a government agency that you may already know and trust," the FCC says.

The plaintiff alleges the calls were made using automated dialing equipment and contained a pre-recorded message on behalf of Allied and the defendants. Per the complaint, the defendants did not have the required consent from Kopelevich for the robocalls as outlined in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.

"Express Written Consent"

The TCPA requires "prior express written consent" from consumers for autodialed or pre-recorded telemarketing robocalls to home and mobile phones.

Robodialers and other scam telemarketers are often very careful not to release details of who the the robocalls are from in an effort to avoid fines and lawsuits, usually waiting until the customer has made a purchase before identifying themselves. Kopelevich purchased an extended warranty on March 6th, and received subsequent materials in the mail which is presumably how he identified Desilva Automotive Services and the other defendants.

The suit also alleges that the Desilva lacked an internal "do not call" policy, which is also a violation of TCPA.

The other named defendants in the complaint are:

 • Vajira Samararatne, Desilva Automotive Service officer and shareholder,

 • Palmer Administrative Services, Inc.

 • Michael Shaftel, corporate officer and shareholder of Palmer Administrative Services, Inc.

 • Atlantic Specialty Insurance Company

 • OneBeacon Insurance Group, Ltd.

 • PayLink Payment Plans, LLC, doing business as PayLink Direct

The suit claims that corporate officers involved in robodialing may be held personally liable under the TCPA.

Requested Damages

Kopelevich is seeking between $500 and $1500 per call as allowed under TCPA plus an additional $3000 in statutory damages per call for 30 total calls. The suit also seeks interest, costs, and attorneys' fees from the defendants as well as an injunction from the court barring them from robodialing.

A copy of the lawsuit can be found here.

Read more at PacerMonitor

Source: https://www.pacermonitor.com


Blue Audi A4

Audi Extends Warranties as Goodwill Gesture

Certain new car warranties and extended warranties extended three months

Audi MediaCenter

Audi is offering its customers an extension of new car and extended warranties. This measure is being introduced short-term in many markets around the world as many customers have been, or still are, unable to visit an Audi dealership and report their warranty claims due to the ongoing Corona crisis.

The extension applies worldwide to all cars produced in Europe, Brazil, Mexico or India whose new car or extended warranty expires or has expired in the time period between 1st March 2020 and 31st May 2020. The period for the extension ends three months after the expiration of the original new car or extended warranty, at the latest on 31st August 2020.

"We are reaching out to our customers in these trying times and are enabling more flexibility in order to organize visits to Audi dealerships”, says Horst Hanschur, Vice President Retail Business Development and Customer Services. “Many of our dealer partners worldwide are still closed or just in the process of opening their doors again. We are therefore making adjustments in a number of areas in order to ensure our customers still have a premium experience with the Audi brand, as well as to ensure the future of our dealerships.”

The mileage restriction of the Audi extended warranty remains unchanged with respect to the warranty extension. If mileage restrictions for new car warranties have been issued in a market, then these also remain unchanged. In the case of an overlap between the extension of the new car warranty and the start of the Audi extended warranty, the start of the extended warranty will be postponed for three months free of charge.

Read more at Audi MediaCenter

Source: https://www.audi-mediacenter.com


Black Porsche

Porsche Extends Warranty in Response to Coronavirus

Warranty extenstion applies to cars with a new car warranty expiring between March 1st and May 31st 2020

Porsche Newsroom

Porsche is extending the new car warranty by a further three months for all cars with a new car warranty expiring between 1 March 2020 and 31 May 2020. This measure is free of charge for customers and is valid worldwide.

The sports car manufacturer is responding with this measure to the coronavirus crisis which has greatly restricted business at many Porsche Centers since March. This also applies to customers who have already purchased a Porsche Approved warranty to follow on after expiry of the new car warranty. If the Porsche Approved warranty starts within the time period in question, it will also be extended by three months.

“Our ultimate aim is to create enthusiasm among our customers – this includes providing outstanding services particularly in difficult times,” says Daniel Schukraft, Head of Aftersales at Porsche AG. “We have therefore decided to implement a uniform and unbureaucratic solution worldwide. Customers do not have to do anything, the Porsche Centers will take into account the extension automatically.”

The new expiry date for the warranty will be calculated from the end of the current period. If the new car warranty expires on 20 March 2020, for example, the extension will apply for a further three months until 20 June 2020. A new car warranty which was due to end on 15 May 2020 will be extended until 15 August 2020.

The new car warranty is always valid for a minimum of two years and starts on the day the car is delivered to the customer. The Porsche Approved warranty for pre-owned cars covers a period of at least 12 months – with the option of an extension. A claim can be made on the warranties at any Porsche Partner worldwide.

Read more at Porsche Newsroom

Source: https://newsroom.porsche.com


Tudor home with red tile roof

Home Warranty Company Receives Licenses to Operate in Two Additional States

Liberty Home Guard launches in Arkansas and Massachusetts

Business Wire

The home warranty company known for their concierge level services, Liberty Home Guard, announced today that they have received their license to operate in the states of Arkansas and Massachusetts. This will mark the 38th and 39th states (including Washington DC) where Liberty Home Guard works with a growing customer base who have increasingly unique demands for complex amenities and home features to be underwritten and protected.

Benjamin Joseph, cofounder of Liberty Home Guard, says, “We are excited to begin serving the people of Arkansas and Massachusetts providing them with outstanding support and home warranty service for their housing needs. Our extensive network includes the nation’s best technicians, all of whom maintain an ‘LHG-Certified’ status while operating on our platform to ensure that your repair is fixed the first time around. We look forward to being your partner in home maintenance.”

In addition to launching in two new states, the company has also launched a new stack of technology products to better manage their customers policies and claims, including a new and improved version of their website, which features Liberty Home Guard’s various coverage plans. As well as an easy-to-use launchpad of frequently asked questions that can inaugurate home-owners to the benefits of a home warranty. Upon visiting the website, a Liberty Home Guard representative will start a chat that will immediately answer any questions a prospective customer may have.

Read more at Business Wire

Source: https://www.businesswire.com


nokia smartphone

Nokia Extending Warranty for Certain Phones

Warranty extended by 60 days as a result of repair and return disruptions

Warranty Informer

If you have a Nokia phone with a warranty that was set to expire in the two month period starting March 15, 2020, chances are that your warranty will be extended for an additional 60 days according to the manufacturer.

The warranty extension is due to disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement on Nokia's website reads, "Our Repair and Returns services are experiencing some disruption in wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. To ensure we can still deliver on our promise, we are extending the warranty on your Nokia phone by 60 days. This is applicable to all warranties on both feature phones and smart phones that were due to expire between 15.03.2020 and 15.05.2020. For customers located in Europe and US, where our Online Repair and Return Services are available (https://nokia.ebuilder.com/), you can still choose to book in your phone, and we will repair and return it within the time frame outlined."

Read more at Nokia

Source: https://www.nokia.com


court house with doric columns

Class Action TCPA Suit Filed Against Extended Warranty Telemarketers

Vehicle Protection Specialists and Auto Protehct named in lawsuit along with CarGuard Administration

Warranty Informer

On Thursday, April 16th a class action lawsuit was filed against CarGuard Administration, Inc., Vehicle Protection Specialists LLC and AutoProtecht LLC. The complaint, with lead Plaintiffs Joseph Barrett and Matthew Silverman, alleges that telemarketers Vehicle Protection Specialists and Auto Protecht were retained by CarGuard Administration to market CarGuard's extended warranties, and that marketing was in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

The filing claims that Auto Protecht and Vehicle Protection Specialists sent numerous calls to residential phone numbers that are registered on the National Do Not Call List.

Barrett and Silverman are both residents of Massachusetts.

CarGuard Administration, Inc. was incorporated in 2015 and is headquartered in Overland Park, KS. Corporate filings show that Elijah Norton was removed as the company's Chairman, Director, and President earlier this year.

Vehicle Protection Specialists LLC is a Nevada LLC headquartered in Irvine, CA which was formed in 2013. Daniel Laurent is listed as the company's Managing Member.

Auto Protecht LLC, formed in late 2018, is a California LLC based in Orange, CA. Andrew Engle and Casey Schilling are listed as the company's members.

The filing alleges that Barrett's cell phone, which is registered on the National Do Not Call Registry, was called several times in early March 2020, promoting CarGuard's products. Barrett claims that the patterns in the calls were that of a predictive dialer which transfers calls to a live operator once a human answers a call.

Barrett purchased a service contract from the caller, which the plaintiff claims ultimately sent a confirmation email from a domain registered to Vehicle Protection Specialists.

Plaintiff Silverman claims his experience in late January 2020 was similar to that of Barrett, except that he ultimately received email correspondence from domains associated with both Vehicle Protection Specialists and Auto Protecht.

Even though the company did not initiate the alleged telemarketing calls, CarGuard was brought into the suit due to the fact that the FCC rules "rules generally establish that the party on whose behalf a solicitation is made bears ultimate responsibility for any violations."

In May of 2013, according to the suit, the FCC released a Declaratory Ruling stating that a corporation or other entity that contracts out its telephone marketing "may be held vicariously liable under federal common law principles of agency for violations . . . that are committed by third-party telemarketers."

The complaint seeks statutory damages of $1,500 per call for every call received by the lead plaintiffs and other members of the class.

A copy of the complaint can be found here.

Read more at PacerMonitor

Source: https://www.pacermonitor.com


smartphone black background

Motorola Extends Warranty on Smartphones

Coronavirus prompt warranty extension of up to 75 days for certain customers

Warranty Informer

If you are an owner of a Motorola smartphone with a warranty that is expiring between March 15 and April 30, 2020, you may be eligible for an additional 75 days of warranty coverage as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Motorola, which is owned by Lenovo, announced the warranty extension on their website as part of a coronavirus response message from Lenovo's CEO Yuanqing Yang.

The portion of the announcement related to the warranty extension states, "To better support customers, Lenovo is offering a free global warranty extension for up to 75 days through May 31, 2020 for all Lenovo/Motorola smartphones and Lenovo consumer PCs, tablets, smart home devices, consumer augmented/virtual reality devices, monitors and accessories with warranties that are coming to an end between March 15 through April 30, 2020."

Read more at Motorola

Source: https://www.lenovo.com


Yellow phone

Car Warranty Scam Robocalls Up Nearly 50% in March Over Prior Month

Warranty robocalls hit 157 million according to YouMail Robocall Index

PR Newswire

Americans received just under 4.1 billion robocalls in March, a 15.7% decline from February. The month of March averaged over 132 million calls per day, or roughly 1,533 calls per second, a whopping 20% decline from the 166 million robocalls per day in January. March robocalls were 28% lower than last October's monthly peak of 5.7 billion calls.

These latest monthly figures come from YouMail, a totally free robocall blocking app for mobile phones.

"While March's decline provides welcome relief to beleaguered consumers, it's unlikely to last given the decline appears to be driven by the impact of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions on call centers," said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici. "It's a shame it has taken a global pandemic to make a real dent in the robocall epidemic."

March Decrease Was Primarily Due to Reduced Payment Reminders and Scams

March saw payment reminders decrease by 31% and spam calls decrease by 17%, both most likely due to the unavailability of call centers to handle people who return calls or "press 1" when called. Telemarketing calls and alerts and reminders were both relatively flat.

Top Illegal Robocalls in March 2020

March saw a big increase in Medical Scams, Car Warranty Scams, and Search Listing Scams, while seeing a big decrease in Government Imposter Scams and Interest Rate Scams – many of which are known to originate outside the US in terms of types and volumes. Overall, there were six types of scams that made at least 100 million calls in the month.

Read more at PR Newswire

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com


samsung smartphone

Samsung Extends Manufacturer's Warranty During Coronavirus Pandemic

Manufacturer's warranty extension is part of Samsung's global response to COVID-19

Warranty Informer

Samsung announced it's global response to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 3, 2020.

The press release stated, "We have restricted business travel to only mission-critical journeys and have strongly advised employees to work from home where possible. Additionally, we have closed some of our facilities and stores to support social distancing efforts, where necessary."

As part of the announcement, Samsung extended the warranty for devices with expiring warranties during repair slowdowns during the global pandemic.

The release goes on to state, "For customers whose manufacturer warranty expires while our services are unavailable due to restrictions caused by COVID-19, we are offering a one-month extension from the date repair services become available again."

"In navigating these uncertain times, Samsung has an important role to look after our employees, support our customers, and aid our communities. We are dedicating resources to help those in need and help us, as a society, emerge stronger on the other side."

Read more at Samsung Newsroom

Source: https://news.samsung.com


Wrenches on concrete

Kia Launches Accelerate the Good Program

Warranty extension part of Kia's response to the Coronaviris pandemic

Kia Motors America

Kia Motors America (KMA), in conjunction with Kia Motors Corporation, has launched the Kia Promise warranty coverage extension program which is effective immediately and further enhances KMA’s recently announced Accelerate the Good program. Kia Promise is designed to ease some of the concerns experienced by Kia owners who may not be able to bring their vehicles to a Kia dealership for warranty repairs due to COVID-19 but have Kia vehicle warranties that are expiring.

“These are uncertain times and the Kia Promise warranty extension program will help bring peace of mind to customers affected by this pandemic by giving them one less thing to worry about,” said Michael Cole, president, KMA. “The health and safety of our customers and employees are our top priority and this warranty extension program is yet another way Kia and local Kia dealerships are working to support our customers’ individual needs.”

Read more at Kia Motors America

Source: https://www.kiamedia.com


Dashboard at dusk

Hyundai Announces Worldwide Warranty Extension

Extension is a response to the global COVID-19 pandemic

Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai Motor Company today launched a warranty extension policy for its vehicles worldwide, which includes America’s Best Warranty for customers in the United States. The program aims to support Hyundai customers who may face difficulties in getting vehicles serviced and repaired during the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Warranty Extension

For Hyundai owners in the U.S. with a 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty or a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty that is expiring between March and June 2020, they will have the warranty coverage extended to June 30, 2020. All eligible customers will be contacted in the coming days, with more details about the warranty extension program.

“This is another great example of how we have our customer’s back and continue to reinforce America’s Best Warranty,” said Barry Ratzlaff, chief customer officer, Hyundai Motor America. “While most Hyundai dealers are open to provide service, we want our customers to feel comfortable visiting their dealerships for warranty work and any vehicle service.”

Vehicle maintenance has been deemed an essential business in most places across the country, so while many Hyundai dealership showrooms have closed due to reasons brought on by the coronavirus, most service departments have remained open. This leaves customers confused about service availability and whether they should leave their homes for vehicle service. To give customers peace of mind, Hyundai is taking action to help alleviate any anxiety or confusion that may exist by helping customers who still need to get to their jobs a way to have their vehicles maintained or repaired if necessary. These dealerships are well-equipped to manage repairs and provide maintenance while practicing social distancing, including picking up and dropping off vehicles for service and cleaning vehicles before they are returned.

Hyundai understands that many customers would prefer to not sign repair orders while dropping off or picking up their vehicles. Hyundai’s current policy allows for electronic signature authorization and digital communication (text messages, email, and social media posts) between the dealer and customer as a form of repair approval.

To ensure customers are safe, Hyundai dealers are also currently practicing social distancing in their showrooms, offering online purchase and home delivery of purchased vehicles at select dealerships, allowing solo test drives, cleaning common areas and eliminating certain in-person activities to make a purchase.

Read more at Hyundai Motor America

Source: https://www.hyundainews.com


android phone with bokeh

Lenovo Warranty Extended Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Manufacturer extends warranty for up to 75 days for certain devices during COVID-19 disruption

Warranty Informer

Owners of Lenovo devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets with warranties expiring between March 15 and April 30, 2020 are getting a 75 day extension on their device's manufacturer warranty due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Lenovo announced the warranty extension on their website as part of a coronavirus response message from Lenovo's CEO Yuanqing Yang.

The portion of the announcement related to the warranty extension states, "To better support customers, Lenovo is offering a free global warranty extension for up to 75 days through May 31, 2020 for all Lenovo/Motorola smartphones and Lenovo consumer PCs, tablets, smart home devices, consumer augmented/virtual reality devices, monitors and accessories with warranties that are coming to an end between March 15 through April 30, 2020."

Read more at Lenovo

Source: https://www.lenovo.com


Dollar bills

Portfolio Holding, Inc. to acquire National Automotive Experts

Companies are similar but cover different territories

Warranty Informer

Portfolio Holding Inc. today announced it has agreed to acquire National Automotive Experts/NWAN, a Strongsville, Ohio-based F&I products provider and administrator.

Executives said the acquisition unites complementary companies with strong suites of products and services but minimal overlap in marketing territories. President and CEO Brent Griggs indicated that Portfolio’s continuous effort to find great opportunities to grow in an increasingly competitive field drove the acquisition.

“We cannot ignore the trend toward consolidation at every level of our industry,” Griggs said. “In NAE/NWAN, we saw an opportunity to not only expand and strengthen our own presence in major markets but join forces with a highly successful and universally admired competitor. Whether in terms of performance or corporate culture, we could not have imagined a better fit.”

In addition to its F&I offerings, Portfolio is a national leader in dealer participation programs, having been ranked among the top reinsurance providers in every Dealers’ Choice Awards survey commissioned by Auto Dealer Today since the category was introduced in 2008. Based in Lake Forest, Calif., with operations in Dallas, Texas, Portfolio intends to maintain NAE/NWAN’s operations in their Cleveland-area offices.

“We couldn’t be more excited to join the Portfolio family, and we know this move will benefit everyone involved — our associates, our agents, our dealers and, most importantly, our customers,” said Kelly Price, CEO of NAE/NWAN. “We are confident that the combined culture and experience in the industry will make us unstoppable.”

Read more at NAE/NWAN

Source: https://www.naenwan.com


Frustrated man

Extended Warranty Scam Robocalls Hit 107 Million Calls in February

Total volume of robocalls up 1.7% in February despite short month according to YouMail Robocall Index

PR Newswire

Americans received just over 4.8 billion robocalls in February, a 1.7% increase from January. The month of February averaged over 166 million robocalls per day, or 1,925 robocalls per second, up almost 9% from January.

These latest monthly figures come from YouMail, a totally free robocall blocking app for mobile phones.

"While February's total for robocalls is only slightly above January, it's concerning that the daily rate of robocalls increased so much, despite all the continuing efforts to address the problem," said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici.

February Increase Was Primarily Due to Increased Telemarketing

February saw spam calls decrease by 4% (in line with a shorter month) while telemarketing calls (which may be legal or illegal) grew 37%, but from a fairly small base.

Read more at PR Newswire

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com


Money

Arizona Attorney General Releases List of Top Consumer Fraud Complaints of 2019

Home Warranties and Telemarketing Scams make AG's annual list

Warranty Informer

On March 3, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced his list of Top 10 Consumer Fraud Complaints for 2019. Home Warranties, a target of the AG's investigations made the list at number 5.

According to the AG's website, the top 10 consumer fraud complaints in 2019 are:

1. Telemarketing and Phone Scams

2. Motor Vehicle Sales, Repairs, and Rentals

3. Mortgage and Real Estate

4. Telecommunications (i.e. Internet Service Providers, Cell Phones, Pay TV, Bundling)

5. Insurance Service Contract/Warranty (i.e. Home Warranties)

6. Computers (Computer Internet Scams)

7. Construction (Home Improvements/Home Repairs)

8. Time Shares

9. Collection Services

10. Banking (General services)

For the second straight year, Telemarketing and Phone Scams have led the rankings as the top consumer complaint filed with the AGO. In 2019, the AGO received nearly 2,000 consumer complaints related to telemarketing and phone scams.

In 2019, the AGO processed more than 14,000 written consumer complaints and fielded nearly 40,000 phone calls from consumers. Also in 2019, the AGO secured over $38 million in restitution for consumers. Since AG Brnovich took office in January 2015, the AGO has obtained a record amount of consumer restitution, recovering more than $94 million directly for consumers.

Read more at Arizona Attorney General

Source: https://www.azag.gov


bearded man holding phone

Ooma Survey Finds Robocalls Cost Small Businesses $9.46 Per Call

Extended warranty scams are one source of unwanted robocalls per FTC

Ooma Inc.

Ooma, Inc., a smart communications platform for businesses and consumers, today announced results of a survey on how robocalls hurt the bottom line of small businesses. The survey of 500 business owners and managers in the United States, sponsored by Ooma, found that 84 percent get robocalls every day, with 54 percent receiving five or more per day, at an average cost of $9.46 per call*. Yet 76 percent say they feel obligated to answer every time the phone rings – unlike most consumers – because they don’t want to risk missing a customer call.

To appreciate how these costs mount up, consider a small business with multiple lines that receives 50 robocalls per day: The annual impact in lost productivity is $118,000.

Despite this painful burden, the survey found that fewer than 16 percent of small businesses have tools in place today to block robocalls.

The scourge of robocalling, or automatically dialed junk calls, causes a wide range of problems for small business. The top concerns of survey participants:

• 73 percent agree with the statement, “Robocalls waste time and reduce our team’s productivity because they must stop what they’re doing, answer the phone, and figure out if the call is legitimate.”

• 44 percent agree that, “Robocalls distract from authentic calls from current or potential customers and partners.”

• 20 percent agree that, “Fraudulent robocalls discredit the legitimate business-related robocalls (such as appointment reminders) we place to our customers.”

Indeed, a recent survey by Consumer Reports found that 70 percent of U.S. residents say they have “stopped answering my phone if I don’t recognize the number of if the caller’s number is anonymous.”

Read more at Ooma Inc.

Source: https://www.ooma.com


Man driving car

Paylink Direct Offers Extended Warranty Financing to Canadian Consumers

Payment plan funder expands service offering to include all Canadian provinces

Warranty Informer

PayLink Direct, a provider of financial services, payment plan programs, and transaction processing for the extended service contract industry announced an expansion of its services to all Canadian Provinces on Feburary 12, 2020.

According to their press release, PayLink Direct has targeted geographic expansion as one of its vital growth levers in 2020 and beyond and launched in Canada this month.

“As we continue to evolve the business, we are consistently evaluating new geographic markets,” Rebecca Howard, Co-Founder, and CEO of PayLink Direct, said. “The Canadian market has over 35 million registered vehicles and sells nearly 2 million new vehicles annually. We felt it was important that our company expanded to a neighboring market and had the fortune of being able to do so with key partners who viewed our payment plans and processing expertise as an integral selling tool for their finance and insurance offerings,” Howard continued.

About PayLink Direct: PayLink Direct is a leading financial services company that specializes in providing interest-free payment plans for the purchase of service contracts for vehicles, RVs, homes, commercial trucks and other products. Since the company’s inception in 2006, PayLink Direct’s high performing infrastructure has processed more than 3.8 million service contracts and originated more than $10 billion in receivables.

Read more at PayLink Direct

Source: https://www.paylinkdirect.com


monitor with code

GWC Warranty Partners with DealerCenter

Partnership allows used car dealers to access GWC's products through cloud based dealer management system

Intrado Globe Newswire

GWC Warranty, a leading provider of vehicle service contracts sold through independent dealers, is pleased to announce a newly launched integration with DealerCenter, a cloud-based dealer management system designed specifically for used car dealerships. Beginning in January 2020, DealerCenter's users will have one-click access to GWC’s F&I products within their existing sales workflow, eliminating the hassle of navigating separate systems for rates and approvals.

“As one of the top-rated dealer management system platforms, DealerCenter’s mission is to provide outstanding service and functionality to our customers,” said Barry R. Lane, Vice President of Business Development with DealerCenter. “Partnering with GWC, one of the top vehicle service providers in the nation, allows us another opportunity to do just that.”

Since 2002, DealerCenter has been committed to improving a dealer's ability to manage their business, control costs and maximize profits with industry-leading technology solutions designed to improve the car-buying process. This strategic partnership allows independent dealers to streamline the customer experience, delivering a more efficient and transparent way to write service contracts by processing loan originations and back-end products all in one place.

"At GWC, our goal is to help dealers drive results from their used car operation. Integrating with DealerCenter means our dealers can make faster decisions and close more deals in less time," said Wendy Pratt, Area Vice President of Strategic Alliances with GWC. "This partnership is another milestone in our mission to deliver a best-in-class experience. The level of efficiency that this integration brings to the purchase process means our dealers can offer their customers the right F&I products upfront and push transactions through more quickly, cutting down on vehicle delivery time. Everybody wins."

Read more at Intrado Globe Newswire

Source: https://www.globenewswire.com


woman talking on iPhone

FCC Warns Consumers to Beware of Extended Auto Warranty Scams

Callers claim to be representatives of car dealers and manufacturers to sell extended auto warranties

Warranty Informer

If you own a vehicle and a phone, you may receive calls from scammers posing as representatives of a car dealer, manufacturer or insurer telling you that your auto warranty or insurance is about to expire. The call will include some sort of pitch for renewing your warranty or policy.

During the call – which often begins automated or pre-recorded – you may be instructed to press a certain number or stay on the line, then asked to provide personal information, which potentially can be used to defraud you.

What makes it particularly hard to discern if this type of call is fraudulent is that the scammer may have specific information about your particular car and warranty that they use to deceive you into thinking they are a legitimate caller.

Steps you can take to protect yourself

First, do not provide any personal information, such as a social security number, credit card information, driver’s license number or bank account information to any caller unless you can verify you are dealing directly with a legitimate company with which you have an established business relationship. Telephone scammers are good at what they do and may imply that they work for a company you trust. Don't fall for it. Be extremely cautious.

If you have caller ID you can screen incoming calls. Legitimate telemarketers are required to transmit or display their phone number and the name and/or the phone number of the company they're representing. The display must include a phone number that you can call during regular business hours to ask that the company no longer call you.

You should be cautious even if a number appears authentic. Criminals may engage in caller ID "spoofing" – deliberately falsifying the information transmitted to your Caller ID display to disguise their identity. (See our consumer guide on Caller ID and Spoofing.) Avoid answering any calls you suspect may be spoofed.

Filing a complaint

You can file a complaint with the FCC about suspected scam calls. In addition to being fraudulent in nature, these calls likely violate telemarketing and robocall rules. (See our guide on Stopping Unwanted Calls.)

While the FCC does not award individual damages to consumers, your complaint may help us identify scammers and take appropriate action. In some cases, the FCC can issue warning citations and impose fines against companies who are violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

If you think you have received a call involving fraud, you can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.

Read more at Federal Communications Commission

Source: https://www.fcc.gov


iPhone in hand

Extended Car Warranty Scam Hits Kentucky Town

Warranty robocall scam surfaces in Boyle, Kentucky according to the Advocate-Messenger

Danville Advocate-Messenger

An oldy-but-a-goody is making its way back around — the vehicle warranty scam. The call comes from a local area code, even indicating the town you live in or one nearby, and first greets you with an urgent recording.

“If you don’t choose to stay on the line and speak to one of our representatives, your car warranty will be cancelled immediately …” Then the “representative” comes on the line, aggressively asking for the make, model and year of your car.

“It’s one of our more common and frequent scams. I don’t think it ever really died out,” says Kim Sweazy, director of operations for the Better Business Bureau of Central and Eastern Kentucky. She said if given the chance, the man on the other end of the phone will likely ask for your debit or credit card information.

There are many “companies” who attempt to sell extended warranties by fraudulently representing car manufacturers, which is why they pretend to have the victim’s warranty information. These same companies are infamous for selling warranties and refusing to reimburse for the repairs they say they cover.

Read more at Danville Advocate-Messenger

Source: https://www.amnews.com


Maroon Mazda 6 front end

Tiptree Insurance Reaches Agreement to Acquire Smart AutoCare

Peter Masi to remain CEO of Smart AutoCare

StreetInsider.com

Tiptree Inc. (NASDAQ: TIPT) and Peter Masi today announced that Tiptree Insurance has agreed to acquire Smart AutoCare, a rapidly growing vehicle warranty solutions provider led by its founder and CEO, Peter Masi, in an all cash transaction that will also include incentive-based earn outs over time. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approval and is expected to close early in the first quarter of 2020. Peter Masi will remain CEO of the business.

The acquisition is expected to expand Tiptree’s warranty distribution channels by more than doubling its presence in the auto warranty sector. With annualized premiums and equivalents of $200 million and cash and liquid assets of $120 million, Smart AutoCare will enhance Tiptree’s warranty scale and market presence by nearly 40% and significantly increase Tiptree’s fee-based cash flows generated outside of its regulated insurance subsidiaries.

“Tiptree’s acquisition of Smart AutoCare advances our position as a leading provider of warranty and niche insurance products. We believe Peter and his team will contribute to accelerating our growth in the warranty sectors for years to come,” said Michael Barnes, Tiptree's Executive Chairman.

Tiptree Insurance President and CEO, Rick Kahlbaugh said, “As a business partner of Smart AutoCare’s for many years, we have profound respect for Peter and the business he has built. Tiptree has been diligently exploring strategic opportunities in the warranty industry, and we are confident that we have found the right acquisition in Smart AutoCare. We are thrilled to welcome Smart AutoCare and Peter to the Tiptree Insurance family of companies.”

Peter Masi, Smart AutoCare CEO, said, “This creates a unique opportunity in the marketplace to position ourselves as a leader with a strong capital position, allowing us the resources and a flexible approach to provide solutions to our dealers and agents. This transaction creates an identity unlike any other in recent deals for us and our clients nationwide.”

Read more at StreetInsider.com

Source: https://www.streetinsider.com


picture of gavel

Minnesota Attorney General Bans AutoAssure From Selling "Extended Warranties" in Minnesota

Settlement bars vehicle service contract firm for 4 years and requires restitution of $400,000

Warranty Informer

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison today announced that his office has obtained a settlement that bans AutoAssure, LLC, also known as Vehicle Services Department, from marketing in Minnesota for four years, and requires it to overhaul its sales practices if it ever does business in the state again after the ban expires. As part of the settlement, AutoAssure is also required to pay $400,000 to be used for refunds to around 1,000 Minnesota consumers who it solicited to purchase “motor vehicle service contracts,” often referred to as extended warranties.

“My job is to help Minnesotans afford their lives. Protecting them from companies that sell them products they may not need and that don’t deliver on their promises is part of that job,” Attorney General Ellison said. “There’s no place for these sorts of deceptive sales practices in our state. Thanks to this settlement, this company won’t be taking advantage of Minnesotans anymore.”

AutoAssure is a Texas-based seller of motor vehicle service contracts, which provide limited repair coverage for vehicles after the expiration of the vehicle’s manufacturer warranty. AutoAssure sent mailings to Minnesotans that were designed to look like they were associated with an automobile manufacturer or dealer, indicated that a consumer’s manufacturer warranty “has expired” or was “about to expire,” and included urgent language designed to prompt Minnesotans to call AutoAssure for more information. When consumers called, AutoAssure further deceived them about who it was and misrepresented the quality and scope of the coverage it sold by telling them, for example, that their service contracts would “literally protect everything on your Ford.” In reality, the service contracts that AutoAssure sold contained up to 40 paragraphs of coverage exclusions, despite often costing thousands of dollars.

In April 2018, the Attorney General’s Office filed suit against AutoAssure, alleging violations of state laws against consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices, deceptive sale of service contracts, and deceptive acts perpetrated against senior citizens related to the company’s marketing and sale of service contracts in Minnesota. The lawsuit followed an investigation by the Attorney General’s office that began in 2014. On multiple occasions during the investigation, the office sought court intervention to force AutoAssure to produce relevant documents.

If you purchased a service contract from AutoAssure, you may be entitled to restitution or a refund under the settlement. The Attorney General’s Office will contact you about your options. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the settlement, you may contact Assistant Attorney General Collin Ballou at (651) 757-1474 or (800) 657-3787.

With the amount of motor vehicle service contract solicitations that Minnesotans receive on the rise, it is important that consumers be on the alert for scams. A mailing or phone call that claims a consumer’s warranty has expired or uses the make, model, and year of a consumer’s car is not necessarily from a vehicle dealership or manufacturer. It is important for consumers to be on the lookout for companies that pose as their car dealership or manufacturer, or promise better coverage than the service contracts that they are selling actually provide.

Additional information about service contracts, including about service contract scams, is available on the Attorney General’s website. Consumers who have questions or concerns about a motor vehicle service contract or wish to file a complaint about one are strongly encouraged to file a complaint online or contact the Attorney General’s Office.

A copy of the settlement can be found here.

A copy of the original lawsuit can be found here.

Read more at Office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison

Source: https://www.ag.state.mn.us


Kitchen with white cabinets and stainless steel appliances

Home Repair Solutions Provider HomeServe USA to Purchase ServLine

Acquisition will allow HomeServe to provide more solutions for homeowners

Business Wire

HomeServe USA, a leading provider of home repair solutions serving more than 4.2 million customers across the US and Canada, will acquire Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Sunbelt Group’s ServLine business division (https://www.servline.com/), a National Rural Water Association (NRWA) affinity partner.

Started in 2014, ServLine works with 144 participating rural water utilities in 18 states through an exclusive affinity partnership with the NRWA and 28 State Rural Water Associations (SRWAs). The business offers a unique leak adjustment product to participating utilities, which can help cover high water bill costs that result from leaking water pipes on a homeowner’s property, as well as a water and sewer service line protection program. Utilities participating in the ServLine programs currently have 27,000 customer homes under the water and sewer line protection program and 465,000 homeowner connections covered under the leak adjustment program.

“ServLine’s unique business model will enhance what HomeServe can offer to our 700 municipal and utility water partners and their customers,” said John Kitzie, Chief Executive Officer of HomeServe USA. “By acquiring ServLine and its strong partnership with the National Rural Water Association, HomeServe will be able to provide even more customers a wider variety of solutions for their homes. The acquisition strengthens HomeServe’s position in the market as the leading provider of home repair solutions.”

Customers are hit twice when faced with a leaking or broken water pipe. They can have the cost to repair the leak itself, as well as a higher water bill due to the lost water. For one to two dollars a month, through the ServLine leak adjustment program, utilities can provide their customers peace of mind that they will not have the stress of funding an abnormally high water bill after an issue with a leaking pipe or fixture arises. The plans also benefit the utility who are protected against having to write off the cost of lost water.

Read more at Business Wire

Source: https://www.businesswire.com